CSC 2231: Online Social Networking Systems
(Area: Software Systems, Group Ib)
Fall 2007

[ Description | Deliverables | Project | Schedule | Papers ]

Research Projects and Demos Info: here.

Course Description

Instructor: Stefan Saroiu
Lectures: Thursdays 11-1
Location: BA5256
Newsgroup: CSC2231 <--You must be at least 18 to view it! :-)

Search and content delivery on the Internet are changing. While in the past browsing the Web meant clicking on hyperlinks, today's Web browsing means joining online communities in search for personally relevant content. Many of today's most popular Web sites did not exist a couple of years ago, such as YouTube, MySpace, Reddit, Facebook. Millions of users are flocking to these Web sites in search for the most popular content, the most commented, or for the content posted by their friends.

This course intends to explore an emerging research topic -- building systems that enable mass communication in a social network. While there is a rich body of research on designing and implementing systems for enabling mass communication on the Internet, from client-server-based Internet systems to peer-to-peer systems, designing systems for enabling mass communication in a social network is a new area of research.

The primary goal of the course is to explore this new area of research. While social networking is a topic of research in many Computer Science fields, this course will take a systems approach to social networks. The course will emphasize the systems engineering challenges of building large-scale information systems centered around social networks.

This is a systems course. The students taking this course must have background in computer networks or in operating systems. Officially, the prerequisites for taking this course are CSC458, or CSC469, or permission of the instructor.

Course Deliverables

1. Each student will prepare at least one research paper presentation. Each presentation is expected to last at most 30 minutes, after which the presenter is in charge for leading a 20 minute open discussion. Before each presentation, the students are expected to e-mail their slides and then to setup a meeting with me no later than the Tuesday preceding the presentation. Meeting with me is a not a requirement and it will not affect a student's grade (although it might affect the presentation's quality).

2. The students will read and review research papers. Two to three papers will be assigned as reading for each lecture. The students will submit their paper reviews two hours before lecture. Reviews submitted later than two hours before the lecture will not be read. David Wetherall has a great list of suggestions on how to review papers (here).

3. The students will participate in class. Participation includes but is not limited to asking questions, raising a point, presenting an argument, offering an alternative point of view.

4. The students will undertake a group reserch project during the term. The goal is to pursue a research idea that could eventually lead to a publication. Students will work in groups of two or three people in an area related to systems support for social networking. The results of this project will be reported in a five page long manuscript following conference style guidelines (single space, double column, 10pt font size). The project will also be presented in a workshop-like session at the end of the semester. The instructor will provide a list of suggestions of research topics.

The final grade will depend on:

Syllabus and Schedule

Note: All papers linked from this page are copyrighted by their respective authors or publishers.

Date Topic Papers Presenter
R 09/13 Introduction
Review Stefan
R 09/20 Ubicomp - No lecture
R 09/27 Online social networks' topology
Forming teams due at 10am.
Cyworld (Check reviews)
Flickr et al. (Check reviews)
R 10/04 Search
Project proposals due at 10am.
Peerspective (Check reviews)
Identity and search, (Check reviews)
DBLP's six degrees (Check reviews)
Danny (1, 2)
R 10/11 P2P Survey P2P Survey (Check reviews)
R 10/18 SkipNet + DHT Geometries
Skipnet (Check reviews)
DHT Geometries (Check reviews)
R 10/25 IMC - No lecture
R 11/01 P2P Security
First progress report due at 10am.
Sybil (Check reviews)
Eclipse (Check reviews)
R 11/08 SybilGuard + Weak ties SybilGuard (Check reviews)
Weak ties (Check reviews)
R 11/15 HotNets -- No lecture
R 11/22 E-mail Re: (Check reviews)
Friend-of-a-friend (Check reviews)
R 11/29 Decentralized security
Second progress report due at 10am.
SFS (Check reviews)
Decentralized authentication (Check reviews)
R 12/06 HomeViews + Friends & Strangers HomeViews (Check reviews)
Exploiting social in mobile systems (Check reviews)
M 12/10 12:00pm Menagerie Menagerie (Check reviews)
F 12/14 Project Presentations
Presentation schedule