Václav Bélak

DERI Profile: http://www.deri.ie/about/team/member/v%E1clav_bel%E1k/

I am a PhD student at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute in the Unit of Information Mining and Retrieval. I am interested in large-scale dynamics of online social communities and how we can manage or foster their activity by means of scalable and automatic analytical techniques. Social communities are usually centred around shared interests and thus I have worked both on modelling of these interests using Semantic Web technologies (top-down approach) and statistical processing of unstructured content (bottom-up approach). I have been particularly interested in how to combine structural analysis of social networks with the analysis of the content related to the communities in order to understand how:

  • information flow from one community to another
  • can we support the process of community formation
  • communities influence each other, and
  • to predict future states of communities with a particular emphasis on predicting unwanted situations like a community dissolution

As the social-semantic networks I have worked with were sometimes very large (millions of nodes/edges or documents) I focus on scalability of the developed methods eventually employing parallel programming and MapReduce approaches. Further I have also investigated how to properly visualize dynamic communities and the content associated to them.