OSN: Measurement and Analysis of Large-Scale Online Social Networks and Applications

OSNOnline social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have become increasingly popular, with close to 500 million users as of August 2008. The introduction of the Facebook Developer Platform and OpenSocial allows third- party developers to launch their own applications for the existing massive user base. The viral growth of these social applications can potentially influence how content is produced and consumed in the future Internet.

To gain a better understanding, we conducted a large-scale measurement study of the usage characteristics of on-line social network based applications. In particular, we developed and launched our own OSN applications on sites like Facebook. Using the rich dataset gathered through these applications, we analyze the aggregate workload characteristics (including temporal and geographical distributions) as well as the structure of user interactions through OSN applications.



Graduate Students

  • Han Liu, ECE
  • Mohammad Rezaur Rahman, CS (co-advised with Prof. Felix Wu)
  • Atif Nazir, CS (PhD, 2012)
  • Brian Estrada, ECE (MS, 2010)


  • Stratis Ioannidis, previously at Technicolor Palo Alto Lab
  • Balachander Krishnamurthy, AT&T Labs-Research
  • Burkhard Schipper, Economics, UC Davis


H. Liu, A. Nazir, J. Joung, and C-N. Chuah, "Modeling/ Predicting the Evolution of User Activity Graphs on OSN-based Applications," WWW, May 2013. [pdf]

A. Nazir, A. Waagen, V. S. Vijayaraghavan, C-N. Chuah, R. D'Souza, and B. Krishnamurthy, "Beyond Friendship: Modeling User Activity Graphs on Social Network Based Gifting Applications" ACM Internet Measurement Conference, November, 2012. [pdf]

A. Nazir, S. Raza, C-N. Chuah, and B. Schipper, "Ghostbusting Facebook: Detecting and Characterizing Phantom Profiles in Online Social Gaming Applications," USENIX Workshop on Online Social Networks (WOSN), June 2010. [pdf]

A. Nazir, S. Raza, D. Gupta, C-N. Chuah, and B. Krishnamurthy, "Network Level Footprints of Facebook Applications," ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), November 2009. [pdf"]

A. Nazir, S. Raza, and C-N. Chuah, "Unveiling Facebook: A Measurement Study of Social Network Based Application," ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), October 2008. [pdf]

See also Inside Facebook guest post.


This project is supported in part by AT&T Labs-Research and Google Research Award.