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Cornell University to Collaborate with Google on Social Network Interaction Research

February 21, 2011

Cornell University researchers to collaborate with Google on social networking problemsBy Gilbert Falso :: 6:25 PM

Cornell researchers have been awarded an $800,000 grant to work to improve group interactions in online social networks. The work is collaborative, between Cornell and Google researchers, and spans an interdisciplinary group, including economists, sociologists and computer scientists.

The goal of the research is to better understand the social and economic factors behind online social networks and the plan is to apply what the researchers learn to make such groups run more smoothly.

One of the challenges with today’s social networks is that most systems only create links between people, but lack important levels of detail within those links, according to Jon Kleinberg, a professor of Computer Science and principal investigator at Cornell. The systems do not provide natural ways to show the attitudes that people have toward each other, or the roles that various individuals play in a particular person’s life.

“Current representations of online social networks are not able to capture the full richness of social interaction in users’ real lives,” Kleinberg said in a Cornell press release.

The researchers also hope to discover ways to shape the architecture of social networks to make them less likely to fall into social disorder and to encourage users to produce more useful content.

The Cornell research team includes economists David Easley and Larry Blume; computer scientists Éva Tardos, Lillian Lee, Robert Kleinberg and Dan Huttenlocher; information scientist Dan Cosley; communication professor Geri Gay; and sociologist Michael Macy.

Filed under → Social Media