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Social Networking Research Area


We conduct research in the area of algorithms, systems, and services where user behaviour is a key factor – this includes algorithmic aspects, design of systems and services, and understanding of user behaviour. Our research is based on both theoretical and empirical methodologies including algorithm design, applied probability, game theory, systems approach, user studies, measurements and large-scale data mining.


Design of new algorithms and understanding their performance is of outmost importance to best support development of new and existing applications and services - we design algorithms and evaluate their performance.


Development of new systems enables new services and creates business opportunities - we research how to best architecture systems in contexts that include mobile services and data centres.

User Behaviour

Understanding the user behaviour is crucial for an informed design of viable systems and services - we gain insights through analysis of large-scale data sets and modelling.



  • Paper on weighted proportional allocation accepted for ACM Sigmetrics 2011
  • Paper on hop-limited flooding in dynamic networks accepted for IEEE Infocom 2011
  • Two papers on consensus submitted to journals:
    • Using Three States for Binary Consensus on Complete Graphs, 2011 (pdf)
    • Convergence Speed of Binary Interval Consensus, 2011 (pdf)
  • Paper on Bargaining Dynamics in Exchange Networks presented at Allerton 2010
Dinan Gunawardena
Dinan Gunawardena

Alexandre Proutiere
Alexandre Proutiere

External Collaborators

Moez Draief (Imperial College London), Liang Hu (Technical University of Denmark), Kyomin Jung (KAIST), Jean-Yves Le Boudec (EPFL), Peter Marbach (University of Toronto), Etienne Perron (EPFL), Don Towsley (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)

Former Interns

James Cruise (University of Cambridge; now with University of Bristol), Dominic DiPalantino (Stanford University; now with Google), Varun Gupta (Carnegie Mellon University), Elizeu Santos Neto (University of British Columbia), Thanh Nguyen (Cornell University; now a post-doc with Northwestern University), Fabian Suchanek (MPI Saarbrucken / now with MSR SVC), Dinkar Vasudevan (EPFL; now with Icera) 



  • oX - Content Casting Across Mobile Devices, MSR TechFest 2009, Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA, March 2009
  • TagBooster, MSR TechFest 2007, Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA, 2007


  • The Weighted Proportional Resource Allocation, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, Networks (Operations Research) Talks, October 2010 (ppt)
  • Barganing Dynamics in Exchange Networks, Allerton 2010 (ppt)
  • Computer Systems seen as Auctions, keynote talk, ACM Sigmetrics 2010, June 2010 (ppt)
  • Mechanism Design, Tutorial, Microsoft Research Cambridge, March 2010 (ppt)
  • Binary Interval Consensus, IEEE Infocom 2010 (ppt)
  • Optimal Channel Choice ..., IEEE Infocom 2010 (ppt)
  • Crowdsourcing and All-Pay Auctions, UC Berkeley, July 13, 2009; Statslab Networks Seminar, University of Cambridge, UK, May 2009 (ppt)
  • Online Social Networks, Invited Lecture at ETHZ, Zurich, December 2008
  • Opportunistic Communications: Modelling Inter-Contact Time Between Human-Carried Devices, a mini-symposium on The Formation and Function of Social Networks, SIAM Annual Conference 2008  
  • Consensus with Limited Processing and Signalling, Statslab lecture series, University of Cambridge, UK, Oct 2008; Workshop on Epidemic Spreading and Networks, Imperial College London, UK, Oct 2008; NET-COOP, Paris, France, Sept 2008 (ppt)
  • Tagging done by YOU, MSR Cambridge Tutorial, a shorter version presented at the Workshop on Mathematics of Communication Networks, ENS Paris, France, 2007; INFORMS 2007, Eindhoven, Netherlands (ppt)
  • Power Law and Exponential Decay - Mobile Devices, Invited Lecture, Hynet colloquium series, University of Maryland, USA, Mar 2007 (pps)
  • On the Origins of Power Laws in Mobility Systems, Workshop on Clean Slate Network Design 2006, Cambridge, UK (ppt)
  • Random Trip Mobility Models, Tutorial, ACM Mobicom 2006, Los Angeles, CA, USA (ppt)


Related Links

Microsoft Research Cambridge

Cambridge Systems and Networking

Press Releases

Suchen im Netz der Nutzer, by Ralf Groetker, Technology Review, Feb 2008

Friendy 'Worms' Could Spread Software Fixes, by Tom Simonite, NewScientist Tech, Feb 2008

Events / CFP

Workshop on the Future of Social Networking: Experts from Industry and Academia, to be held in Cambridge, UK, on November 18, 2010

IEEE Network - Special Issue on Online Social Networks

NetEcon 2010 – The 2010 OSDI Workshop on the Economics of Networks, Systems, and Computation, co-located with USENIX OSDI 2010 in Vancouver, BC, October 2010

WOSN 2010 – 3rd Workshop on Online Social Networks, co-located with USENIX in Boston, MA, USA, June 22, 2010

Past Events

Workshop on Online Social Networks, MSR Cambridge, Dec 2007