Interdependence and Predictability of Human Mobility and Social Interactions by Mirco Musolesi University of Birmingham

Event details

  • When: 15th April 2013 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Phys Theatre C
  • Series: CS Colloquia Series
  • Format: Colloquium, Seminar

Abstract: The study of the interdependence of human movement and social ties of individuals is one of the most interesting research areas in computational social science. Previous studies have shown that human movement is predictable to a certain extent at different geographic scales. One of the open problems is how to improve the prediction exploiting additional available information. In particular, one of the key questions is how to characterise and exploit the correlation between movements of friends and acquaintances to increase the accuracy of the forecasting algorithms.

In this talk I will discuss the results of our analysis of the Nokia Mobile Data Challenge dataset showing that, by means of multivariate nonlinear predictors, it is possible to exploit mobility data of friends in order to improve user movement forecasting. This can be seen as a process of discovering correlation patterns in networks of linked social and geographic data. I will also show how mutual information can be used to quantify this correlation; I will demonstrate how to use this quantity to select individuals with correlated mobility patterns in order to improve movement prediction. Finally, I will show how the exploitation of data related to friends improves dramatically the prediction with respect to the case of information of people that do not have social ties with the user.

 More information about this project can be found at this URL :

Bio: Dr. Mirco Musolesi is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. He received a PhD in Computer Science from University College London in 2007 and a Master in Electronic Engineering from the University of Bologna in 2002. From October 2005 to August 2007 he was a Research Fellow at the Department of Computer Science, University College London. Then, from September 2007 to August 2008 he was an ISTS Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dartmouth College, NH, USA, and from September 2008 to October 2009 a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge.  Before joining Birmingham, he was a Lecturer at the University of St Andrews. His research interests lie in the broad area of networked systems with a current focus on large-scale data analysis, mobile sensing, social computing and network science (in particular, social and spatial networks). More information about his research profile can be found at the following URL: