Manuel Cebrian

Principal Research Scientist
Data61 Unit
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Melbourne, Australia
Manuel Cebrian

About Manuel Cebrian

Dr. Manuel Cebrian is principal research scientist with the Data61 Unit at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Melbourne, Australia. He is currently the Scholar-in-Residence at Graphext, a platform for framing complex questions in a network context. Cebrian is a founding member of Scalable Cooperation, a MIT Media Lab research group. He earned a PhD in computer science from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, where his thesis received the dissertation of the year award for his work on plagiarism networks. Cebrian's work lies at the intersection of the computer and social sciences. His primary interest is understanding how social networking can make it easier to find people and solve real-world problems. His work is best illustrated by his victories in the 2009 DARPA Network Challenge and the 2012 Department of State Tag Challenge, an most importantly, his brutal defeat in the 2011 DARPA Shredder Challenge, the first case of large-scale crowdsourcing sabotage ever studied.

Link to: Contact information.

Recent projects

PARADOX, an iPhone app that displays trending places based on the Friendship Paradox: PARADOX on the App Store.

Viewpoint: Beyond Viral, M. Cebrian, I. Rahwan and A. Pentland, Communications of the ACM, 59:4, 2016. Accompanying film and art book.

Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity, Y. Kryvasheyeu, H. Chen, N. Obradovich, E. Moro, P. Van Hentenryck, J. Fowler, and M. Cebrian, Science Advances 2, e1500779 (2016). Science Magazine, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Michigan Daily, Die Welt, Deutschlandfunk, Dagens Nyheter, Science News, El Pais, La Vanguardia, Altmetric. Dataset available at Dryad Digital Repository.

Selected projects

For a comprehensive list of publications, check Cebrian's Google Scholar profile, his Research Gate profile, his Semantic Scholar profile, or his DBLP bibliography.

A more literary narrative about Cebrian's body of work can be found in Nautilus and Medium, and Madri+d. Recent articles by Nature, The Economist, and New Scientist summarize Cebrian's contributions to crowdsourcing, put in perspective by his brief history of social search.

Time-critical social mobilization, G. Pickard, W. Pan, I. Rahwan, M. Cebrian, R. Crane, A. Madan, and A. Pentland, Science 334(6055):509-512 (2011). New York Times, Rachel Madow, MSNBC, Popular Mechanics, MIT News, IEEE Multimedia, Science News.

Urban characteristics attributable to density-driven tie formation, W. Pan, G. Ghoshal, C. Krumme, M. Cebrian, and A. Pentland, Nature Communications 4, 1961 (2013). Featured in PNAS Core Concepts in Computational Social Science, New York Times, The Atlantic Cities, The Economist, Smithsonian, MIT News. See related work on Urban Crime, covered by CIO, and our analysis the capacity of cities to Organize Events.

Limits of social mobilization, A. Rutherford, M. Cebrian, S. Dsouza, E. Moro, A. Pentland, and I. Rahwan, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110(16):6281-6286 (2013). NBC, Yahoo! News, Arabian Gazette, La Repubblica.

Error and attack tolerance of collective problem solving: The DARPA Shredder Challenge, N. Stefanovitch, A. Alshamsi, M. Cebrian, I. Rahwan, EPJ Data Science 3:13 (2014). Medium, Nautilus, CNET, San Diego Union-Tribune, UC San Diego News I, UC San Diego News II, KPBS, Phys.org, El Pais, RTVE.

Using friends as sensors to detect global-scale contagious outbreaks, M. Garcia-Herranz, E. Moro, M. Cebrian, N. Christakis, and J. Fowler, PLoS ONE 9(4):e92413 (2014). MIT Technology Review, Yale University News, Chronicle, Business Week, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Huffington Post.

Social sensing for epidemiological behavior change, A. Madan, M. Cebrian, D. Lazer, and A. Pentland, Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) pp. 291-300, Copenhagen, Denmark (2010). Ginger.io, Nature News.

Reflecting on the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge, J. Tang, M. Cebrian, N. Giacobe, H-W. Kim, T. Kim, and D. Wickert, Communications of the ACM 54(4):78-85 (2011).

Finding red balloons with split contracts: robustness to individuals' selfishness, M. Cebrian, L. Coviello, A. Vattani, and P. Voulgaris, Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC) pp. 775-788, New York, USA (2012). Talk video.

Crowdsourcing contest dilemma, V. Naroditskiy, N. Jennings, P. Van Hentenryck, M. Cebrian, Journal of The Royal Society Interface 11:20140532 (2014). Social Physics Blog, The Australian, ABC Radio, Quartz, LifeHacker, The Conversation, University of Southampton.

Global manhunt pushes the limits of social mobilization, I. Rahwan, S. Dsouza, A. Rutherford, V. Naroditskiy, J. McInerney, M. Venanzi, N. Jennings, and M. Cebrian, Computer 46(4):68-75 (2013). Scientific American, MIT Technology Review, New Scientist, Wired.

Limited communication capacity unveils strategies for human interaction, G. Miritello, R. Lara, M. Cebrian, and E. Moro, Scientific Reports 3, 1950 (2013). Seminar at UCLA's Mathematics of Social Learning, Antena 3.

News Coverage

English coverage: New York Times, The Economist, Popular Science, Nature News, New Scientist, The Atlantic, Wired, MIT Technology Review, Nautilus, Medium, The Antantic's Citylab, Yale News, The Conversation, The Australian, MIT Technology Review, The Australian, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CIO, Transparency International, Arts Hub, Mx, Science News, Science Magazine, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Die Welt, Deutschlandfunk, Dagens Nyheter, The Advertiser, Wikimedia Research Showcase, Australian National University, MIT Technology Review, The Atlantic, Forbes.

Spanish coverage: El Pais, El Mundo, Cinco Dias, Muy Interesante, El Confidencial, Ahora Semanal, RTVE, Cinco Dias, El Pais, Madri+d, El Pais, La Vanguardia, Cadena Ser, Nada es Gratis, El Pais, El Confidencial.

E-mail

Scientific correspondence should be directed to Dr. Cebrian at Cebrian@mit.edu.

Questions about the Research Group should be directed to Mark Cardy at Mark.Cardy@data61.csiro.au.

Media inquiries should be directed to Elizabeth Mckenzie at Elizabeth.Mckenzie@data61.csiro.au.

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+61 3 9545 2628

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Data61 Unit
CSIRO
115 Batman Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
Australia