Social & Computer Networks: Measurement, Analysis and Architecture

Nishanth Sastry

Senior Lecturer
Department of Informatics
King's College London
S1.04, Strand, London, WC2R2LS, UK
Phone No.: +44-(0)20 7848 2445

News updates

*** 2018 2018 PC service: TPC co-chair of ACM Hypertext, WWW, KDD, INFOCOM, ICDCS.

Apr 2018 Coverage in Indian Express: The Language Challenge of the World Wide Web

Apr 2018 Congrats to Aravindh and Gareth for getting a Best Paper Honorable Mention at WWW 2018!

Nov 2017 Talking to WIRED, on Russia's disinformation campaign in multiple platforms.

Nov 2017 On Inside Story panel about whether social media platforms should be policed as content producers and publishers or as platforms.

Sep 2017 On Inside Story again, this time talking about censorship and social media.

Sep 2017 Congrats to Aravindh for winning the Best Paper Award at SIGCOMM MECOMM for his work on Wi-Stitch, a new architecture for delivering content from the edge.

June 2017 Our ASONAM paper on catfishing is picked by BBC, The Times, Daily Mail etc.

May 2017 On News Hour, talking about importance of encryption in WhatsApp etc.

May 2017 We have a PhD scholarship in partnership with Vodafone to work on Mobile/Multi-access Edge Computing Advert here.

Apr 2017 We have a 2017 Rick Trainor Scholarship for working with the UK Parliament on Digital Engagement. Advert here.

Apr 2017 On Al Jazeera's Inside Story again, talking about innovation and network effects in social media following Snapchat's first earnings report.

Mar 2017 New EPSRC project Internet of Silicon Retinas Watch this space for adverts.

Mar 2017 On TV again: Al Jazeera TV's Inside Story, talking about the cost to privacy of our connected lives (25 min panel).

Feb 2017 Congrats to Changao and Dmytro for their ICWSM paper on social network personae in different social networks (Collaboration with Dongwon Lee of Penn State).

Feb 2017 On Sky News at 5, for a comment about Fake News.

Jan 2017 Paper in IEEE Communications Magazine about 5G Network Slicing

Dec 2016 2017 PC service: WWW, INFOCOM, WebSci, KDD, CIKM, ICWSM (SPC).

Jun 2016 Our measurements on usage and adoption of BBC iPlayer TV streaming service picked up by BBC, Scotsman, uSwitch, Telecompaper, ISP Review, Advanced Television.

Mar 2016 I will be TPC co-chair of COMSNETS 2017

Feb 2016 Congrats to Ehsan for his ICC paper and Dmytro for his J-SAC paper

Dec 2015 Paper on cross domain trust transfer accepted into WWW 2016. (Collaboration with Krishna Gummadi's group at Max Planck Institute)

Nov 2015 Two talks related to 5G:
At Cambridge Wireless event on Mobile Edge Computing on The role of user analytics in edge caching: Lessons from BBC iPlayer, and
At the IET conference on 'Towards 5G Mobile Technology - Vision to Reality'. Event details here, talk slides here ('5G Network Architecture as an Online Optimisation Problem') and a video recording here

Oct 2015 Our IMC13 paper (plus several additions) has been accepted into ACM Transactions on Multimedia (Preprint here). Congrats to Gareth et al.

Aug 2015 Our WWW13 paper (plus several additions), has been accepted into Transactions on Networking (Preprint here). Congrats to Gianfranco (and all other co-authors)!

May 2015 Keynotes at SIMPLEX'15 co-located with WWW'15 and at WEBIST'15: "Copy Content, Copy Friends: Understanding and Augmenting the Power of Social Sharing" :[PDF]

Mar 2015 Two new EU H2020 projects, to start in July 2015, on 5G Network Architecture and implementation, with Mischa, Toktam, Oliver and Vasilis!

Mar 2015 New paper at ICWSM "Are people really social on Porn 2.0?" Congrats to Gareth, for this sequel to our IMC 2013 work!

Mar 2015 Our application for Rick Trainor Scholarships has been successful. Funding is available for 1 PhD student (International students also welcome. Deadline May 20). Trainor Scholarships are the most prestigious scholarships at KCL.

Feb 2015 Interviewed by Al Jazeera English on the tenth (!) anniversary of YouTube.

Jan 2015 We have demonstrated how to use ImageNet's deep learning to predict repinning in Pinterest. Paper describing this accepted in WWW 2015! Congrats to Changtao and Dmytro!

Nov 2014 Congrats to Dmytro for getting 2 papers (out of 2 submitted) into INFOCOM 2015!

Oct 2014 Keynote at the S-Cube conference, "Curation: Social Sensing for Future Needs" :[PDF]

Oct 2014 YouTube Highlights from my talk on Big Data and Mobility in Belgium.

Jun 2014 Keynote lecture at IEEE ISCC, "Attack of the Content Clones": [PPT] (43 MB, with a movie)

Apr 2014 We have released our social bootstrapping dataset for research and education use.

Mar 2014 New ESRC project on online spaces for sharing in extreme situations to start shortly. Excited to be working with 5 social scientists in this 1.3 Million£ project.

Jan 2014 Our Social Bootstrapping paper accepted at WWW 2014! Another from the data analysis gang - Congrats to Changtao, Mostafa, Sunil, Marius and Mia Cha.

Dec 2013 Our survey on mobility support in Information Centric Networks to appear in the Communications of the ACM.

July 2013 Our paper on Porn 2.0 accepted at IMC. Gareth Tyson got the Brendan Murphy Memorial Young Researcher Prize for talking about it at the Cosener's meeting this year. Congrats Gareth!

Apr 2013 We have an open job advert for a postdoc on a recently funded EPSRC project. Project started as of Aug 15.

Mar 2013 Our paper on content curation in Pinterest and gets into ICWSM. Congrats Changtao, Sunil and Karthik!

Jan 2013 Our paper with BBC on reducing the nationwide energy and traffic footprint of iPlayer to appear at WWW 2013!

Dec 2012 Our paper selected as one of top 3% at ASE Social Informatics. Congratulations to my student Rafael Cappelletti!

[ Research | People | Teaching | Publications | Datasets | Service | Bio ]

Research and Funding

My work focuses on the structures and architectures used for disseminating and consuming content online. This encompasses a range of topics both at the infrastructure (computer networks) and people (social networks) levels. Funding comes from the EU through the H2020 programme and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), for the technical bits, and Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) for Computational Social Science-related work.

My general approach in the recent past has been to study large datasets/workloads and then draw conclusions that can be used in different kinds of systems - typically social media and content delivery systems. For more detail, here is an overview (pptx powerpoint file, 14MB) of publications in 2012-13. Or visit our new web pages on Social Curation and Social Bootstrapping. A full list of publications and pdfs appears here; links to the larger projects are below:

Acronym Title Funder
VirtuWind Virtual and programmable industrial network prototype deployed in operational wind park EU H2020 (5GPPP programme)
5G NORMA 5G Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture EU H2020 (5GPPP programme)
REACH Rural broadband intErnet Access using Cooperative mesh networking in wHite space spectrum EuropeAid
S4S A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing: Researching online sharing by people in extreme circumstances ESRC
CD-GAIN Content Delivery Using Graph-based Analysis of Interest Networks EPSRC


PhD Students

Postdocs on research projects

Friends and Collaborators

Fortunate to have too many to list out. Hence filtering by those with whom I've had more than one co-authored paper :-)

Mentors, advisors and past whereabouts

I have previously worked on an architecture to enable citywide Wi-Fi access (while visiting Karen Sollins at MIT) and the theory of congestion control protocols (Master's thesis, advised by Simon Lam at University of Texas, Austin). My PhD was supervised as per tradition by Jon Crowcroft at Cambridge University. I have also worked in the Industry at different layers of the software stack, ranging from semantic web groupware for information streams (at IBM Research) to ATM device drivers (Cisco Systems).


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Short Biography

Nishanth Sastry is a Senior Lecturer at King's College London. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, a Master's degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Bachelor's degree from Bangalore University,India, all in Computer Science. He has over six years of experience in the Industry (Cisco Systems, India and IBM Software Group, USA) and Industrial Research Labs (IBM TJ Watson Research Center).

His honours include a Best Undergraduate Project Award, a Best Paper Award from the Computer Society of India, a Yunus Innovation Challenge Award at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDEAS Competition, a Benefactor's Scholarship from St. John's College, Cambridge, a Cambridge Philosophical Society Research Studentship, a Cisco Achievement Program Award and several awards for his work at IBM. His work has ranged over several layers of the network stack and he is currently involved in building better networked systems by harnessing social network information.

Media coverage