European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges

in Computational Social Science


2017: Inequality and Imbalance


London, UK

November 15th-17th, 2017





September 8th, 2017Workshops and tutorials proposal submission deadline
September 12th, 2017Workshops and tutorials acceptance notification
September 30th, 2017 (23.59 Hawaii Standard Time)Deadline for abstract submission
October 13th, 2017Notification of acceptance & start of registration
November 6th, 2017Registration closes
November 15th, 2017Workshop and tutorial day
November 16th-17th, 2017Main conference


This is the first in a series of three symposia that discuss societal challenges in computational social sciences. In the first year, the focus will be on “Inequality and Imbalance” (London, 2017). Future events will be focused on “Bias and Discrimination” (Cologne, 2018) and “Polarization and Radicalization” (Zurich, 2019).

With these three events we provide a platform to address one of the most pressing challenges in today’s digital society: understanding the role that digital technologies, the Web, and the algorithms used therein play in the mediation and creation of inequalities, discrimination and polarization.

By addressing inequality as the topical issue for the symposium series we intend to explore how CSS can contribute to opening up new ways of thinking about, of measuring, detecting and coping with social inequality, discrimination, and polarization. We will discuss how divides and inequalities are proliferated in digital society, how social cleavages can be observed via web data, how the organizational structure of the web itself generates biases and inequality, and how, in contrast, algorithms and computational tools might help to reduce discrimination and inequality. We will also investigate how bias and unequal social structures foster political tension and polarization, including issues of radicalization and hate.

The Symposium series is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.



The Symposium 2017 will be a three-day event consisting of:

  • a two-days, single-track conference featuring a series of invited talks that will provide different perspectives on challenges in the area of Inequality and Imbalance
  • a day of multiple satellite events, including workshop and tutorials
  • an open call for contributed presentations that will provide opportunities for computational social scientists to present and discuss their own work
  • an open call for workshop and tutorial organization that will provide opportunities for computational social scientists to gather focus groups around the latest trends in Computational Social Science
  • plenty of possibilities for interdisciplinary networking
  • an evening “science slam” with a selection of short scientific talk where scientists present their own research in front of a non-expert audience
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Add to My Calendar 2017-11-15 09:00:00 2017-11-17 18:00:00 Europe/London European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science 2017: Inequality and Imbalance Alan Turing Institute and British Library. London, UK Gesis


You can register online via Eventbrite (click here) until November 6th, 2017.

The registration fee is 60 GBP. It covers the participation fee for the workshop and tutorial day (November 15th, 2017) and the two main conference days (November 16th-17th, 2017), including coffee breaks and lunch. To secure a place for the workshop and tutorial day, don’t forget to register early. A number of free registrations for the workshop and tutorial day are available and will be given on a first come, first served basis.

Cancellation Policy

Attendees can receive refunds up to 7 days before the event starts (November 8th, 2017). Cancellation must be made in writing by sending an email to



Deepak Ajwani, Nokia Bell Labs Florian Lemmerich, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences & University of Koblenz-Landau
Harith Alani, The Open University Matteo Magnani, Uppsala University
Tim Althoff, Stanford University Drew Margolin, Cornell University
Fred Amblard, University Toulouse 1 Capitole Michael Mäs, ETH Zurich
Jisun An, Hamad Bin Khalifa University Yelena Mejova, Qatar Computing Research Institute
Pablo Aragón, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Stasa Milojevic, Indiana University
Martin Atzmueller, Tilburg University Suzy Moat, University of Warwick
Pablo Barberá, New York University John Mohr, University of California, Santa Barbara
Andrea Baronchelli, City, University of London Sophie Muetzel, University of Lucerne
Paul Baur, European University Institute Keiichi Nakata, University of Reading
Matthias Brust, University of Luxembourg Sanna Ojanpera, University of Oxford
Peter Burnap, Cardiff University Elisa Omodei, UNICEF
Fabio Celli, University of Trento Sarah Otner, Imperial College Business School
Meeyoung Cha, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology & Facebook André Panisson, ISI Foundation
Rense Corten, Utrecht University Symeon Papadopoulos, Information Technologies Institute
Michele Coscia, Harvard University Christian Pentzold, Chemnitz University of Technology
Andrew Crooks, George Mason University Nicola Perra, University of Greenwich
Sebastian Deri, Cornell University Juergen Pfeffer, Technical University of Munich
Bruce A. Desmarais, Pennsylvania State University Alessandro Provetti, Birkbeck, University of London
Victor M Eguiluz, Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (CSIC-UIB) Hemant Purohit, George Mason University
Emilio Ferrara, University of Southern California Cornelius Puschmann, Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
Fabian Flöck, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences Jose J. Ramasco, Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (CSIC-UIB)
Vanessa Frias-Martinez, University of Maryland Miriam Redi, Yahoo
Wai-Tat Fu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Georgios Rizos, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas
David Garcia, ETH Zurich Camille Roth, National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Mathieu Génois, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences Giancarlo Ruffo, University of Turin
Bruno Gonçalves, New York University Diego Saez-Trumper, Pompeu Fabra University
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon, University of Pennsylvania Rossano Schifanella, University of Turin
Andreea Gorbatai, University of California, Berkeley Ingo Scholtes, ETH Zurich
Przemyslaw Grabowicz, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich
Andrew Guess, New York University Xiaoling Shu, University of California, Davis
Scott Hale, University of Oxford Emma Spiro, University of Washington
Raphael H. Heiberger, University of Bremen Sebastian Stier, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Laura Hollink, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica Markus Strohmaier, University of Koblenz-Landau
Geert-Jan Houben, Delft University of Technology Marcella Tambuscio, University of Turin
Dirk Hovy, University of Copenhagen Misha Teplitskiy, University of Chicago
Adam Jatowt, Kyoto University Bart Thomee, Google
Marco Alberto Javarone, University of Hertfordshire Carmen Vaca Ruiz, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL)
Andreas Jungherr, University of Konstanz George Valkanas, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Andreas Kaltenbrunner, Eurecat Dani Villatoro, IIIA, Spanish Council for Scientific Research
Kazuhiro Kazama, Wakayama University Claudia Wagner, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Brian Keegan, University of Colorado Boulder Ingmar Weber, Qatar Computing Research Institute
Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences Robert West, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Andreas Koch, University of Salzburg Roger Whitaker, Cardiff University
Farshad Kooti, University of Southern California Gregor Wiedemann, Leipzig University
Nicolas Kourtellis, Telefonica Research Christo Wilson, Northeastern University
Haewoon Kwak, Qatar Computing Research Institute Taha Yasseri, University of Oxford
David Laniado, Eurecat Emilio Zagheni, University of Washington
Anders Larsson, University of Oslo Arkaitz Zubiaga, University of Warwick
Wonjae Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology


Full Day

Workshop: Quantitative Tools for Qualitative Analysis: Computational Social Science Meets Discourse Analysis  < Click for more details
Organized by Robin Tschötschel (University of Amsterdam), Thomas Jacobs (Ghent University), Julie M. Birkholz (Ghent University), Anton Törnberg (Gothenburg University) & Petter Törrnberg (University of Amsterdam)

Tutorial: Integrating Social Theory with Computational and Spatial Methods for Urban Data ScienceClick for more details
Organized by Bruno Gonçalves (New York University), Anastasios Noulas (New York University) & Rossano Schifanella (University of Turin)


Morning Workshop: Interpretability of Algorithmic Systems < Click for more details
Organized by Adrian Weller (University of Cambridge & The Alan Turing Institute) & Tameem Adel (University of Cambridge)

Morning Tutorial: Charting Collections of Connections in Social Media: Creating Maps and Measures with NodeXL Click for more details
Organized by Marc A. Smith (Social Media Research Foundation)

Afternoon Workshop: Addressing Big Societal Challenges with Digital Behavioral Data
Organized by Mathieu Génois (GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences), Katrin Weller (GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences), Julian Kohne (GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences), Claudia Wagner (GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences & University of Koblenz -Landau) & Markus Strohmaier (GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences & RWTH Aachen University)

Afternoon Workshop: Developing Intelligent Decision Support Systems: Societal Challenges and Technical Strategies  Click for more details
Organized by Sharon Clancy (University of Nottingham), Claire Palmer (University of Nottingham) & Richard Hazledine (ConnectMore Solutions)

Afternoon Tutorial: Quantitative Text Analysis Using R
Organized by Kenneth Benoit (London School of Economics) & Kohei Watanabe (London School of Economics)


(Don’t) Mention the War: A Comparison of Wikipedia and Britannica Articles on National Histories
Anna Samoilenko, Florian Lemmerich, Maria Zens, Mohsen Jadidi, Mathieu Génois and Markus Strohmaier

A Community Based Model for Social Capital
Christopher Spratt and Jun Hong

A Topology Classification of Exclusion and Marginalization in Data-driven Digital Societies
Mamello Thinyane

Are Facebook Pages Missing at Random After a Social Movement? A two-year Panel Study on Social Media Activities of Hong Kong Facebook Pages after the 2014 Occupy Movement.
Chung-hong Chan and King-wa Fu

Are the Social Media Use Patterns Changing? Findings from Finland
Ilkka Koiranen and Pekka Räsänen

Computationally Inferred Genealogical Networks Uncover Long-term Trends in Assortative Mating
Eric Malmi and Aristides Gionis

Cooperation-driven Hierarchy is Interpreted as Good Reputation
Alberto Antonioni

Corruption and Inequality in Public Contracting: Evidence from US Federal Contracts
Mihály Fazekas and Johannes Wachs

Cultural Investment and Urban Socio-economic Development: a Geosocial Network Approach
Xiao Zhou, Desislava Hristova, Anastasios Noulas, Cecilia Mascolo and Max Sklar

Digital Discrimination: Political Bias in Internet Service Provision across Ethnic Groups
Nils Weidmann

Divided We Stand: Mobile Culture and Digital Inequality in India
Madhu Madhu and Madhu Sharma

Do Algorithmic Recommendations Favor Diversity in Music Consumption? Evidences from Log Data of a Streaming Service
Samuel Coavoux and Jean-Samuel Beuscart

Emerging Databased Democracies in China and India
Payal Arora

Emerging Housing Wealth Inequality
Omar A. Guerrero

Emerging of Inequality in Financial Transactions Data
Marcella Tambuscio, Alfonso Semeraro, Silvia Ronchiadin and Giancarlo Ruffo

Ethnic Discussions in Russian-language Social Media: Representation of Ethnicities and Judgment Analysis
Olessia Koltsova, Sergei Koltcov, Sergey Nikolenko, Svetlana Alexeeva and Oleg Nagorny

Fair Sharing for Sharing Economy Platforms
Abhijnan Chakraborty, Asia J. Biega, Aniko Hannak and Krishna Gummadi

Gender Disparities in Science? Dropout, Productivity, Collaborations and Success of Male and Female Computer Scientists
Mohsen Jadidi, Fariba Karimi, Haiko Lietz and Claudia Wagner

Gender Inequalities in Political Participation: a Study of the 2017 UK General Elections on Twitter
Esther González Caicedo, Matteo Manca and David Laniado

Geo-social Capital as a Relational Measure to Map Inequality
Andreas Koch

Girls Who Code: Gender Differences in Behavior and Outcome on Stack Overflow
Anna May, Johannes Wachs and Anikó Hannák

Homophily Explains Perception Biases in Social Networks
Eun Lee, Fariba Karimi, Hang-Hyun Jo, Markus Strohmaier and Claudia Wagner

Inequality is Higher in Fixed Clustered Networks with Punishment Institutions
Milena Tsvetkova, Claudia Wagner and Andrew Mao

Measuring and Mitigating New Forms of Digital Social Exclusion/Inclusion
Robin Williams, Rob Procter, James Stewart, Gina Neff and Wifak Gueddana

Not All Bots Are Created Equal: Automated Sociality and the Spread of Political Information in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections
Olga Boichak, Sam Jackson, Jeff Hemsley and Sikana Tanupabrungsun

Online vs. Offline Inequalities: Examining Disableist Infrastructure via Open Data.
Vanessa Thomas

Overcoming the Imbalance Between Tag Recommendation Approaches and Real-World Folksonomy Structures with Cognitive-Inspired Algorithms
Dominik Kowald and Elisabeth Lex

Participative Epistemology in Social Data Science for Workforce Development
Gian Marco Campagnolo, Robin Williams, Beatrice Symington, Alberto Acerbi and Duncan Chapple

Predicting Demographics, Moral Foundations, and Human Values from Digital Behaviors
Kyriaki Kalimeri, Mariano Gastón Beiró, Robert Raleigh and Ciro Cattuto

Qualities and Inequalities: Gender and Valuation in the Contemporary Art World
Taylor Brown

Responsible Team Players Wanted: An Analysis of Soft Skill Requirements in Job Advertizements
Federica Calanca, Luiza Sayfullina, Eric Malmi and Aristides Gionis

Sharing Is Growing – But We Don’t See It
Jan Lorenz

Social Capital, Bounded Agency and Fuzzy Logic – Making Data Work in Real World Applications
Sharon Clancy and Claire Palmer

Stratified and Defensive Democracy: Systematic Study of Israeli Planning Hearings
Talia Margalit and Adriana Kemp

Talking the Talk? Representation of Minority Interests Through Speech and Social Media of Elected Officials
Michael Kowald

Temporal Profile Similarity Through Spatiotemporal Traces of Users in Location-based Networks
Krittika D’Silva, Anastasios Noulas, Mirco Musolesi, Cecilia Mascolo and Max Sklar

The Branching Pipeline: Understanding Gender Disparities Within and Across Fields
Andrei Cimpian, Aniko Hannak, Kenny Joseph and Daniel B. Larremore

The Effect of Quality and Success Imbalance on User Engagement
Rossano Schifanella, Luca Maria Aiello and Miriam Redi

The Representation of Disadvantaged Groups in the Digital Sphere – TED Talks and Their Public Perception on YouTube
Carsten Schwemmer

The Role of Shopping Malls in Social Inequality
Mariano Gastón Beiró, Ciro Cattuto, Loreto Bravo, Diego Caro, Leo Ferres and Eduardo Graells-Garrido

Urban Patterns and Citizen Participation: \\Geographical Data Analysis of Decidim Barcelona
Matteo Manca, Pablo Aragón and Antonio Calleja-López

Women on the Online Capital Market: What’s in a Money Network?
Ágnes Horvát


Do you want to discuss your work with experts in the field? At the symposium, you have the chance to book a 1-on-1 meeting with some of our keynote speakers and talk about your own work, potential shared interests or new ideas. In particular, this is an opportunity for junior scholars (e.g. PhD candidates) who want to receive some feedback on their ideas and recommendations for future work.

Three of our keynote speakers are available for counselling on the workshop and tutorial day. Symposium participants can book individual consulting slots of approx. 15-20 minutes with the keynote speakers to discuss ideas for their future work or planned projects. To book a consulting slot, please send an email with the subject “Meet the Speakers” to with the following information:

  • First Name:
  • Last Name:
  • Organization:
  • Department:
  • Position:
  • Email:
  • Keynote Speaker: please state the speaker you want to meet (Eszter Hargittai / Kristina Lerman / Keith Payne)
  • Background: please summarize your research background in two to three sentences
  • Topic for discussion: please describe what you want to discuss in the meeting briefly (approx. up to five sentences), e.g. your ideas for future work or planned projects

Consulting slots will be distributed according to the availability of the keynote speakers. Places are limited.


On the night of the 16th, starting at 6.30pm, we welcome you to join us at ScienceSlam+Databeers (, a fun event with short, entertaining science talks and **free beer**! The event will take place at City University London ( If you are interested, please remember to select the appropriate option on the registration form.


Call for Papers

We welcome submissions in the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences, including (a) new approaches for understanding social phenomena and addressing societal challenges, (b) improving methods for computational social science, (c) and understanding the influence of the Web and digital technologies on society.

For the 1st Symposium we are especially interested in:

  • Methods for inequality measurement, including measuring inequality on the Web
  • Mediating inequalities via computational methods
  • Inequality data mining
  • Detecting trends of inequality
  • Digital reproduction of inequality
  • Online vs. offline inequalities
  • Cross-country and longitudinal studies of inequality
  • Missing data
  • Digital civil society and digital citizenship
  • Digital divides and digital inequality
  • Global inequality and effects of globalization
  • Power imbalances
  • Demographics and age structures
  • Underrepresented groups
  • Wealth and poverty research
  • Economic inequality
  • Health inequalities
  • Models of social capital in the digital age
  • Non-users of digital technologies
  • Accessibility of and barriers to digital technologies
  • Skills and digital literacy

Other related topics are explicitly welcome.

Submission Guidelines

Authors are kindly requested to submit a PDF file via the EasyChair submission system for the event:

Submissions should be 1-2 page abstracts (up to approx. 1000 words) summarizing the work to be presented. We encourage researchers to also submit mature work that has already been published and/or submit work-in-progress. Please give a sufficiently detailed description of your work and your methods so we can adequately assess its relevance. Each extended abstract will be reviewed by a Program Committee composed of experts in computational social science. Accepted submissions will be non-archival, i.e. there are no proceedings. We may however discuss options for publishing selected submissions after the conference (e.g. as a journal special issue or edited collection).

Submissions will mostly be evaluated based on relevance and the potential to stimulate interesting discussions.

The deadline for submission is September 30th, 2017. Notice of acceptance will be October 13th, 2017.

Submissions can be accepted as either oral presentations or posters.

The full call for submissions can also be found here.


Call for Workshops and Tutorials

The organizing committee of the First Symposium on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science welcomes submissions for workshops and tutorials proposals on any emerging topic at the intersection of the social sciences and the computer sciences. The workshop and tutorial day will be held at the Alan Turing Institute in London, UK on November 15th, 2017.

Workshops will give the opportunity to meet and discuss issues with a selected focus, providing an excellent forum for exploring emerging approaches and task areas and bridging the gaps between the social science and technology fields.

Tutorials will be an opportunity for cross-disciplinary engagement and a deeper understanding of new tools, techniques, and research methodologies. Tutorials should provide either an in-depth look at an emerging technique or software package or a broad summary of an important direction in the field.

Members of all segments of the social media research community are encouraged to submit proposals. To foster interaction and exchange of ideas, the workshops will be kept small, with 30 participants maximum. Attendance is limited to active participants only.

Important Dates

Workshops and tutorials proposal submission deadline: September 8th, 2017

Workshops and tutorials acceptance notification: September 12th, 2017

Workshops and tutorials day: November 15th, 2017

Submission Guidelines

Authors are kindly requested to submit a PDF file via email to

Proposals for workshops and tutorials should be no more than three (3) pages in length (10pt, single column, with reasonable margins), written in English, and should contain the following:

  • A concise title
  • The names, affiliations, and contact information of the organizing committee
  • Duration of the event (half-day or full-day meeting)
  • A short abstract describing the scope and main objective of the event
  • A short description of the main topic and themes (2 paragraphs maximum)
  • A description of the proposed event format and a detailed list of proposed activities
  • An approximate timeline of the activities
  • Historical information about the event, when available
  • [Workshops only] A description of how workshop submissions will be evaluated (invited contributions, peer review, etc.)

Workshops and tutorials will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Timeliness of the topic
  • Potential to attract the interest of researchers in computer science and social/organizational sciences
  • Promotion of activities that are different from the classic mini-conference format; those include challenges, games, interactive sessions, brainstorming and networking.
  • Involvement people of different backgrounds in the organizing committee
  • Addressing topics at the intersection of different disciplines

The full call for submissions can also be found here.



Paper/poster submission is not a requirement for attendance.


The Symposium will take place in London, UK.

The workshop day will be held at the Alan Turing Institute and the main conference will be hosted by the British Library.

The Alan Turing Institute

The national institute for data science was founded in 2015 by five leading universities – Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, UCL and Warwick – and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The British Library

The main conference will be held at the Knowledge Centre of the British Library.

Nowadays the British Library serves business and industry, academics, researchers and students not only in the UK, but also world-wide. The collection of well-known British Library counts well over 150 million items in various languages, including manuscripts, newspapers, magazines, maps, prints, drawings, patents and music scores.

How to find the Alan Turing Institute and the British Library

The Alan Turing Institute is located at the British Library.

British Library
96 Euston Rd
How to get there

How to get there from the airports

From St. Pancras International Station and from King’s Cross St. Pancras Underground Station it takes only 7 minutes to reach the British Library on foot.

Heathrow Airport

  1. Approximately 15 min. to Paddington Station by Heathrow Express
  2. Approximately 10 min. from Paddington Underground Station (Hammersmith & City line towards Barking) to King’s Cross St. Pancras Underground Station;
    approximately 25 min. from Paddington Rail Station (Stop H) to British Library (Stop C) by bus

London City Airport

  1. Approximately 20 min. to Bank Station by train
  2. Approximately 8 min from Bank Underground Station (Northern Line towards Edgware) to King’s Cross St. Pancras Underground Station

Gatwick Airport

  1. Approximately 55 min. from Gatwick Airport Station (towards Bedford) to St. Pancras International Station by train

Luton Airport

  1. Approximately 5 min. to Luton Airport Parkway Rail Station by Luton Airport Shuttle
  2. Approximately 30 min. from Luton Airport Parkway (towards Three Bridges) to St. Pancras International Station by train

Stansted Airport

  1. Approximately 30 min. from Stansted Airport (towards London Liverpool Street) to Tottenham Hale by train
  2. Approximately 10 min. from Tottenham Hale Underground Station (Victoria Line towards Brixton) to King’s Cross St. Pancras Underground Station

Southend Airport

  1. Approximately 45 min. from Southend Airport (towards London Liverpool Street) to Stratford by train
  2. Approximately 7 min. from Stratford International to St. Pancras International Station by train

Travel Grants

Due to the generous funding by Volkswagen Foundation we are able to offer up to 40 travel grants to early career researchers whose talks are accepted for the symposium. Both plenary talk presenters and workshop/ tutorial presenters are eligible for the travel grants.

The travel grant consists of 500 EUR for authors from non-European countries or 250 EUR for authors from Europe and also covers the registration fee for the symposium. Travel grant recipients will be selected by a committee of experts based on their academic excellence, financial needs and diversity (e.g. gender, geographical and disciplinary diversity)

Please indicate in your submission 1) if you wish to apply for a travel grant, 2) your motivation for the grant application and 3) whether you will still attend the symposium without a travel grant.

The grants aim to especially support attendees with limited travel resources and attendees from countries where Computational Social Science is not yet well established.

Visa Support

Letters of support can be requested by accepted European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science authors or registrants with a completed registration with payment. If you are attending the European Symposium and require a letter of support, please send the following information to

  • First/Given Name:
  • Family/Last Name:
  • Position:
  • Organization:
  • Department:
  • Address:
  • City:
  • Zip/Postal Code:
  • Country:
  • Email:
  • Are you an author of a paper?
  • Paper title:
  • If not accepted author, Registration Confirmation Nr.:










The Alan Turing Institute and British Library

96 Euston Road

London NW1 2DB




Organizing Team

+49 (0221) 47694-254


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