Detecting Anomalous Behaviors Using Structural Properties of Social Networks

  • Yaniv Altshuler
  • Michael Fire
  • Erez Shmueli
  • Yuval Elovici
  • Alfred Bruckstein
  • Alex (Sandy) Pentland
  • David Lazer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7812)


In this paper we discuss the analysis of mobile networks communication patterns in the presence of some anomalous “real world event”. We argue that given limited analysis resources (namely, limited number of network edges we can analyze), it is best to select edges that are located around ‘hubs’ in the network, resulting in an improved ability to detect such events. We demonstrate this method using a dataset containing the call log data of 3 years from a major mobile carrier in a developed European nation.


Mobile Networks Anomalies Detection Emergencies Behavior Modeling 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Aharony, N., Pan, W., Ip, C., Khayal, I., Pentland, A.: Social fmri: Investigating and shaping social mechanisms in the real world. Pervasive and Mobile Computing (2011)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Albert, R., Jeong, H., Barabási, A.L.: Error and attack tolerance of complex networks. Nature 406(6794), 378–382 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Altshuler, Y., Aharony, N., Fire, M., Elovici, Y., Pentland, A.: Incremental learning with accuracy prediction of social and individual properties from mobile-phone data. CoRR (2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Altshuler, Y., Aharony, N., Pentland, A., Elovici, Y., Cebrian, M.: Stealing reality: When criminals become data scientists (or vice versa). IEEE Intelligent Systems 26(6), 22–30 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Altshuler, Y., Elovici, Y., Cremers, A.B., Aharony, N., Pentland, A(S.): Security and privacy in social networks. Recherche 67, 2 (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Altshuler, Y., Fire, M., Aharony, N., Elovici, Y., Pentland, A(S.): How many makes a crowd? On the evolution of learning as a factor of community coverage. In: Yang, S.J., Greenberg, A.M., Endsley, M. (eds.) SBP 2012. LNCS, vol. 7227, pp. 43–52. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Altshuler, Y., Pan, W., Pentland, A(S.): Trends prediction using social diffusion models. In: Yang, S.J., Greenberg, A.M., Endsley, M. (eds.) SBP 2012. LNCS, vol. 7227, pp. 97–104. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Altshuler, Y., Wagner, I.A., Bruckstein, A.M.: On swarm optimality in dynamic and symmetric environments, vol. 7, p. 11 (2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Altshuler, Y., Yanovsky, V., Wagner, I., Bruckstein, A.: Swarm intelligence-searchers, cleaners and hunters. Swarm Intelligent Systems, 93–132 (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bagrow, J.P., Wang, D., Barabási, A.L.: Collective response of human populations to large-scale emergencies. PloS One 6(3), e17680 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Carter, T.: Butts. The complexity of social networks: theoretical and empirical findings. Social Networks 23(1), 31–72 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Choi, H., Kim, S.H., Lee, J.: Role of network structure and network effects in diffusion of innovations. Industrial Marketing Management 39(1), 170–177 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Eagle, N., Pentland, A(S.), Lazer, D.: Inferring social network structure using mobile phone data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 106, 15274–15278 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Eagle, N., Macy, M., Claxton, R.: Network diversity and economic development. Science 328(5981), 1029–1031 (2010)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gonzalez, M.C., Hidalgo, C.A., Barabasi, A.-L.: Understanding individual human mobility patterns. Nature 453(7196), 779–782 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Granovetter, M.S.: The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 1360–1380 (1973)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Huberman, B.A., Romero, D.M., Wu, F.: Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope. First Monday 14(1), 8 (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kanaroglou, P.S., Jerrett, M., Morrison, J., Beckerman, B., Altaf Arain, M., Gilbert, N.L., Brook, J.R.: Establishing an air pollution monitoring network for intra-urban population exposure assessment: A location-allocation approach. Atmospheric Environment 39(13), 2399–2409 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lambiotte, R., Blondel, V.D., de Kerchove, C., Huens, E., Prieur, C., Smoreda, Z., Van Dooren, P.: Geographical dispersal of mobile communication networks. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 387(21), 5317–5325 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Leskovec, J., Backstrom, L., Kleinberg, J.: Meme-tracking and the dynamics of the news cycle. In: Proceedings of the 15th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, pp. 497–506. Citeseer (2009)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Murray, A.T., Kim, K., Davis, J.W., Machiraju, R., Parent, R.: Coverage optimization to support security monitoring. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 31(2), 133–147 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Nicosia, V., Bagnoli, F., Latora, V.: Impact of network structure on a model of diffusion and competitive interaction. EPL (Europhysics Letters) 94, 68009 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Palla, G., Barabasi, A.L., Vicsek, T.: Quantifying social group evolution. Nature 446(7136), 664–667 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pan, W., Aharony, N., Pentland, A.: Composite social network for predicting mobile apps installation. In: Proceedings of the 25th Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), pp. 821–827 (2011)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Puzis, R., Altshuler, Y., Elovici, Y., Bekhor, S., Shiftan, Y., Pentland, A.S.: Augmented betweenness centrality for environmentally-aware traffic monitoring in transportation networks.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Waclaw, B.: Statistical mechanics of complex networks. Arxiv preprint arXiv:0704.3702 (2007)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wassermann, S., Faust, K.: Social network analysis: Methods and applications, New York (1994)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaniv Altshuler
    • 1
  • Michael Fire
    • 2
  • Erez Shmueli
    • 1
  • Yuval Elovici
    • 2
  • Alfred Bruckstein
    • 3
  • Alex (Sandy) Pentland
    • 1
  • David Lazer
    • 4
  1. 1.MIT Media LabUSA
  2. 2.Deutsche Telekom Lab, Department of Information Systems EngineeringBen-Gurion UniversityIsrael
  3. 3.Computer Science DepartmentTechnion – Israeli Institute of TechnologyIsrael
  4. 4.College of Computer and Information Science & Department of Political ScienceNortheastern UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations