Discovering topical experts in the Twitter social network

Finding topical experts on online social sites with millions of users, is an important and challenging problem. In this project, we developed a novel methodology for discovering topical experts in Twitter. We utilized the wisdom of the Twitter crowds to discover the topics of expertise of individual users, and hence identified topical experts. Our methodology exploits the Lists feature, using which a user can group Twitter users who tend to tweet on a topic that is of interest to her, and follow their collective tweets. Our key insight was that these Lists are often carefully created by users to include experts, and the List meta-data (names and descriptions) provide valuable semantic cues to their topics of expertise. Thus, we inferred a user's expertise by analyzing the meta-data of crowdsourced Lists that contain the user. We mined List information to build Cognos, a system for finding topical experts in Twitter. Evaluation based on a real-world deployment showed that Cognos infers a user's expertise more accurately and comprehensively than state-of-the-art systems that rely on the user's bio or tweet content. In fact, Cognos yields results comparable to, if not better than, those given by the official Twitter experts search engine for a wide range of queries.



Inferring Who-is-Who in the Twitter Social Network
Naveen Kumar Sharma, Saptarshi Ghosh, Fabricio Benevenuto, Niloy Ganguly, and Krishna P. Gummadi. ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Online Social Networks (WOSN), Helsinki, Finland, August 2012. [Highest rated paper at the workshop, included in ACM Computer Communication Review, volume 42, issue 4, pp. 533--538, October 2012]

Cognos: Crowdsourcing Search for Topic Experts in Microblogs
Saptarshi Ghosh, Naveen Kumar Sharma, Fabricio Benevenuto, Niloy Ganguly, and Krishna P. Gummadi. ACM SIGIR Conference (SIGIR), Portland, Oregon, USA, August 2012.




Saptarshi Ghosh is awarded a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
July 2014

Mainack Mondal, Bimal Viswanath and Krishna Gummadi, along with their co-authors win SOUPS distinguished paper award
July 2014

Juhi Kulshrestha receives Google Anita Borg Scholarship
May 2013

Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil wins WWW best paper award
May 2013