Chapter 19

Mobile Social Network Analysis

In the previous chapters, we introduced opportunistic networks and described the store, carry, and forward mechanism at the basis of message routing in this kind of network. Furthermore, we introduced the main metrics that have been defined to characterize mobility in opportunistic networks. In this chapter, we will focus attention on a specific type of opportunistic network, called the pocket-switched network (see also Chapter 17), in which the nodes forming the network are individuals carrying portable communication devices such as smart phones. This class of networks is very interesting from a mobility modeling perspective, since network nodes are carried by people, hence characterization of node mobility in PSNs is equivalent to characterization of human mobility, which is a very interesting topic investigated in many fields such as sociology, transportation engineering, urban planning, and so on. What is particularly interesting is trying to understand the relationships between social interactions among individuals, and their mobility pattern. Understanding these relationships is fundamental to, for example, optimize the performance of social-aware routing protocols, design social-aware communication primitives, design and optimize innovative services for mobile social networking applications, and so on.

In this chapter, we will present the state of the art on the characterization of human mobility patterns, based on an analysis of ...

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