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Social Networks and Human Interaction Models

Seminar: Winter Semester 2021/2022; Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg; Faculty of Engineering, Department of Computer Science


  • (July 28, 2021) Website created, dates confirmed
  • (October 2017, 2021) Starting time of first session updated

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Seminar Content

Human behavior ist hard to capture, especially with regard to formal terms. A plethora of disciplines has devoted its focus on analyzing as well as predicting human behavior, notably the entire corpus of social sciences.

While a treatise of all aspects of modelling and analyzing human behavior in a formal way is nearly impossible, the seminar at hand focuses on two research fields that are particularly close to applications in Computer Science:

  • 1. Social Network Analysis (SNA) and
  • 2. Game Theory.

Social Network Analysis has seen a strong uptake in the last 20 years as researchers from diverse fields have begun to decipher the features and characteristics of these organic networks (as opposed to artificially grown ones). The seminar will take a whirlwind tour through the various stages of scientific discovery and also delve into applications that make use of the knowledge gathered from SNA.

Next, we will briefly step into Game Theory, one of the most notable and influential disciplines from the 20th century, in particular to economics.

With an understanding of both SNA and GT on board, we will step into the more practical part of the seminar, which is the domain of online marketing and digital advertising, analyzing the different variations that exist today (e.g., display advertising, real-time bidding, SEM, contextual advertising).

Application Procedure

We kindly ask prospective participants to apply via the university’s online application system for participation in the indicated seminar.

Please note that the number of participants is limited to 7 with no exception.

Administrative Stuff

The seminar is organized as an “en-bloc seminar”, consisting of three sessions with mandatory participation for all three.

  • Session I: The first session will be held on Monday, Oct 18, from 3pm s.t. to 7pm (online). The aim of this first session is to provide all participants with basic knowledge about SNA, Game Theory, and Online Marketing. Moreover, it aims at providing students with presentation skills and expertise on the writing of a scientific report. Moreover, the first session will address the organization of the second session. Please be punctual, late-comers are not admitted to the seminar
  • Session II & III: The second and third session will feature the first and second half of the oral presentations of all participants and take place Monday, Nov 22, and Tuesday, Nov 23. On both days, the en-bloc session will take place 1pm to around 6pm. Both sessions will be as virtual sessions, via video conferencing tools.

Additional information:

  • ECTS: 4 cr. (equals 2 SWS)
  • Language: English/German

Prerequisites for Passing

Participation in both sessions is absolutely mandatory. Also, the students need to submit certain deliverables that will be graded:

  • Written report (max. 8 pages DIN A4, 12 pt., single-spaced, one-column); submission date will be announced in the first session (submit to cai.ziegler at hotmail dot de)
  • Oral presentation (English or German) of 30 mins; discussion and question 10 mins;  presentations have to be in PPT and must follow the style template handed out in the first session

The final grade is composed 60% oral presentation plus participation in discussions, and 40% written report.

Topics and References

Topics and references are contained in the document handed out in the first session. Note that the indicated paper references are only meant as starting point.

Students are highly encouraged to search for other suitable references.