Social Computing

The work in the Social Computing Group integrates theories and models from ubiquitous computing, social media, machine learning, and social sciences, to sense, analyze, and interpret human and social behavior in everyday life, and to create devices and systems that support interaction and communication. Current research includes methods for urban computing from phone and mobile social network data, behavioral analysis of social video, ubiquitous sensing of face-to-face interaction, and crowdsourcing.

Video Presentation

Current Group Members

(Senior Researcher, EPFL Adjunct Professor)
- website

LABHART, Florian
(Research Associate)
- website

MASSÉ, Benoit
(Postdoctoral Researcher)
- website

(Postdoctoral Researcher)
- website

MEEGAHAPOLA, lakmal (Buddika)
(Research Assistant)
- website

(Research Assistant)
- website

PHAN, Trung (Thanh)
(Research Assistant)
- website

YELA BELLO, Jenny Paola
(Master Student)


  • ARAN, Oya
  • AVCI, Umut
  • BIEL TRES, Joan Isaac
  • CAN, Gulcan
  • CORREA, Salvador
  • DO, Trinh-Minh-Tri
  • FARRAHI, Katayoun
  • FINNERTY, Ailbhe
  • GARG, Nikhil
  • HU, Rui
  • JAYAGOPI, Dinesh Babu
  • NEGOESCU, Radu-Andrei
  • OKADA, Shogo
  • RADUCANU, Bogdan
  • ROMAN RANGEL, Edgar Francisco
  • SANTANI, Darshan
  • ZHANG, Dong

Current Projects

Recent Projects

Group News

Idiap among the representatives of Swiss innovation in Spain
institute — Jun 19, 2019

The Embassy of Switzerland in Spain is organizing each year a Swiss Innovation Night. This year was under the title "Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Society". Our institute was among the representatives to share its research.

Building a more inclusive Web supported by AI
research — Feb 14, 2019

How to empower communication among people through technology that is aware of diversity? To achieve this goal, the WeNet European project will develop a platform to connect people using ethical principles and artificial intelligence technology. Idiap is part of this project.

Using mobile data to model the drinking habits of Swiss youth
institute — Nov 27, 2018

Researchers from Idiap Research Institute have carried out a study using smartphone data from young Swiss people to better understand the circumstances in which they are most likely to drink. A computer model developed based on Artificial Intelligence can estimate, with over 75% accuracy, whether alcohol was consumed on a given weekend night.

Children education project supported by SenseCityVity at the World Water Forum 2018
education — Mar 15, 2018

Supported by the SenseCityVity research team in Mexico and Switzerland in 2017, the project "Education for Water Protection in Colombia" will participate at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia (March 2018), with additional support of the OEI (Organizacion de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura).

Modeling human behavior with Airbnb
research — Feb 09, 2018

Researchers at Idiap and EPFL have been working with psychologists to understand how people form first impressions from photos. They focused on how people respond to properties available on Airbnb. Better analysis of human behavior should allow scientists to program machines capable of making more “human” decisions.

Creating links between innovation in healthcare and customers
research — Nov 14, 2017

The SWISKO project, in which Idiap's Social Computing Group participates in collaboration with DomoSafety SA, the University of Bern, La Source School of Nursing Sciences, and the Home Care Association of the Canton of Neuchatel (NOMAD), was featured in the Magazine ASD (Aide et Soins a Domicile).

ACM ICMI Community Service Award to Daniel Gatica-Perez
research — Oct 16, 2017

The Steering Board of the ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) has announced that the recipient of the 2017 Community Service Award is Prof. Daniel Gatica-Perez, Head of the Social Computing Group at Idiap.

Quand la technologie bouleverse le travail des humanitaires
education — May 12, 2017

Un cours lancé à l’EPFL permet de découvrir l’impact des nouvelles technologies sur le travail des organisations humanitaires. Les étudiants ont réalisé un exercice grandeur nature avec l’application Civique, développée à l’Institut de Recherche ldiap affilié à l’EPFL, pour faire une analyse critique de ces nouveaux moyens d’informations.

Understanding how technology can revolutionize humanitarian work
education — May 12, 2017

A new EPFL course offers students the opportunity to learn more about how new technologies can be used by humanitarian organizations. The students critically assessed new information-sharing methods by conducting a real-life exercise using the app Civique, which was developed by the Idiap Research Institute, an EPFL partner institution.

Maya glyph analysis on Horizons Magazine
research — Apr 03, 2017

The work by R. Hu, J.-M. Odobez, and D. Gatica-Perez on extraction of Maya hieroglyph strokes was covered by Horizons Magazine, the scientific magazine of the SNSF and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

MAAYA project at EPFL Open Days 2016
— Dec 19, 2016

Idiap researchers presented tools for analysis and visualization of ancient Maya hieroglyphs at the EPFL Open Days 2016 in Lausanne.

Idiap and Y@N at the Swiss Days of Official Statistics 2016
research — Sep 23, 2016

Prof. Daniel Gatica-Perez discussed the value of geo-localized social media as a new urban data source at the Swiss Days of Official Statistics, Neuchatel, Sep. 15-16, 2016. He illustrated this emerging trend with the Youth@Night project and other recent work.

Keynote on Civic Multimedia at CBMI 2016
research — Jul 19, 2016

Prof. Daniel Gatica-Perez gave a keynote talk on "Civic Multimedia, Crowdsourcing, and the Public Good" at the 14th International Workshop on Content-Based Multimedia Indexing (CBMI) in Bucharest, June 16, 2016.

SenseCityVity expands work in Mexico
research — Feb 04, 2016

Collaborative research in Mexico by the Social Computing Group at Idiap engages citizens as factors of social change and expands to several cities.

UBImpressed at the HR-Conference Romand 2015
research — Oct 06, 2015

The UBImpressed project took part in the HR-Conference Romand, organized at the University of Lausanne, September 8, 2015. Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast and Dr. Denise Frauendorfer co-organized the workshop "Novel technologies to measure verbal and non-verbal behavior", in which social sensing technologies were introduced and demonstrated.

SenseCityVity and MCSC presented at meeting on Observatories for Tourism in Mexico
research — Sep 18, 2015

The SenseCityVity and MCSC projects were presented by Salvador Ruiz-Correa (Co-PI of the projects) at the Third Meeting of Observatories for Tourism in Guanajuato City, Mexico, on September 7-8. The meeting was co-organized by the National Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) and the State Ministry of Tourism of Guanajuato.

Laurent Nguyen receives PhD degree from EPFL
education — Jun 08, 2015

Laurent Nguyen received the PhD degree from EPFL on May 29th 2015 after the public defense of his doctoral dissertation entitled: "Computational Analysis of Behavior in Employment Interviews and Video Resumes".

SenseCityVity program concludes its first year
research — Mar 23, 2015

After a year of work, the results of the SenseCityVity project were presented at the Don Quixote Iconographic Museum by the team lead by Dr. Salvador Ruiz Correa.

SenseCityVity+ starts today
research — Feb 17, 2015

SenseCityVity+, the new phase of the SenseCityVity project, has started today under the support of EPFL Cooperation and Development Center (CODEV).

SenseCityVity at DigitalPolis, Paris
research — Feb 02, 2015

Daniel Gatica-Perez discussed the work done in the SenseCityVity project at the DigitalPolis Symposium in Paris, France, Jan 29-31, 2015. The symposium gathered a multidisciplinary audience developing theoretical and technical approaches to understand digital cities.

Cracking the code of the unspoken language
research — Oct 26, 2014

The NOVICOM project, led by Oya Aran as Marie Curie Research Fellow and Daniel Gatica-Perez as Scientist in Charge, was featured today as a Project Story on the European Commission Horizon 2020 website. Oya is currently a SNSF Ambizione Research Fellow at the Social Computing Group at Idiap.

SenseCityVity: Mobile sensing, urban awareness, and collective action in Mexico
research — Mar 28, 2014

SenseCityVity is a Switzerland-Mexico collaborative project between Idiap Research Institute and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), and the National Center for Supercomputing of the Instituto Potosino de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica (CNS-IPICYT), supported by EPFL's Cooperation and Development Center (CODEV).

SNSF Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship awarded to Edgar Roman-Rangel
research — Jan 21, 2014

Edgar Roman-Rangel (former PhD student at the Social Computing Group at Idiap and EPFL, and currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Geneva) has been awarded a SNSF Early Postdoc.Mobility fellowship. His project, on the area of computational archaeology, is entitled "Tepalcatl: Automatic Categorization of Potsherds". The project starts on April 1, 2014 and will be conducted at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

ISWC/Ubicomp 2013 featured in Radio Television Switzerland.
research — Sep 16, 2013

The International Symposium of Wearable Computers (ISWC) and the International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) were held in Zurich, September 8-12 2013, and featured by Radio Television Switzerland (SRF, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen).

ISWC/Ubicomp 2013 featured in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
research — Sep 13, 2013

The International Symposium of Wearable Computers (ISWC) and the International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) were held in Zurich, September 8-12 2013, and featured by NZZ, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Dinesh Babu Jayagopi to join IIIT Bangalore as Assistant Professor.
education — Aug 20, 2013

Idiap Research Institute would like to congratulate Dinesh Babu Jayagopi who will join end of this year as an Assistant Professor at IIIT Bangalore. Between 2007 and 2011 he finished his Phd at Idiap, specialized in the field of Social Computing. Currently, he is a post-doctoral researcher at Idiap.

Joan-Isaac Biel Tres received EPFL PhD title
education — Jul 08, 2013

On June 28, 2013, Joan-Isaac Biel Tres made the public defense of his PhD thesis entitled "Mining Conversational Social Video". He received the EPFL diploma from his doctoral advisor (Daniel Gatica-Perez.)

Social computing research featured in Swiss National TV
research — Jun 03, 2013

The collaboration between Idiap's Social Computing Group and the Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Neuchatel on analysis of nonverbal behavior in job interviews was featured in Radiotelevisione Svizzera (RSI) scientific program "Il giardino di Albert", aired on 26.05.2013.

Idiap project CODICES broadcasted on "Archaeology Mayan script"
research — Jun 24, 2010

Dr Daniel Gatica-Perez, (from the Idiap Research Institute, in Martigny, Switzerland): “People who are exploring ancient Maya culture – in order to try to find glyphs, they usually use catalogues and this is a classic catalogue. It’s like a telephone book. Instead of names what we have are essentially glyphs and this is a very large collection. And, essentially, if you don’t have computational means to find a glyph you don’t know or a glyph you are learning about, you probably have to parse all of these manually. And this can be time consuming.”

Glyphes Maya, le logiciel qui a du caractère
research — Jun 10, 2010

En 2010, Indiana Jones troquerait certainement son fouet contre un ordinateur ou un rayon laser. Depuis quelques années, grâce à un arsenal de nouvelles technologies, les archéologues ont avancé à grands pas. Dans les inventions récentes, il y a ce moteur de recherche capable de déchiffrer l’écriture maya.