Social networks are simple models used to describe complex phenomena that emerge in various fields such as social sciences, digital communication platforms, economics, business, international relations, environmental sciences, and medicine. For example, social networks are used to model social interactions on web platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, the spreading of contagious illnesses, news and information, the mutual influence between voters during an electoral campaign, the adoption of new goods on the market, the correlation between purchases on e-commerce platforms, or the interaction between agents, bots and humans.

Due to their increasingly large scale and heavy dynamics, social networks pose a number of difficult computational challenges, such as community detection, clustering, influence maximization, or diffusion control, just to name a few. Recent advances in soft computing, especially evolutionary computation and large-scale numerical optimization techniques, have shown that these methods are effective tools for tackling these challenges. However, there are still several open issues, for instance as to what concerns the applicability of the proposed solutions to real-world scenarios and the scalability of these methods to very large networks with complex topologies.

In this Special Session we seek contributions where original soft computing techniques, for instance new bio-inspired or physics-inspired metaheuristics, are applied to solve specific social network problems or to define new social network models. Real-world experimental studies, as well as presentations of new datasets, or algorithmic studies on novel techniques tested on publicly available datasets and scalability studies are especially welcome. We also encourage contributions from the Operational Research and Complex Networks/Statistical Physics perspectives based on bio-inspired or physics-inspired principles.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Influence maximization
  • Vaccination optimization
  • Virus diffusion control
  • Sentinel optimal placement for event detection
  • Community detection
  • Network clustering
  • Models of influence spread
  • Models of network dynamics

Important Dates

Submission deadline:
1 November 2019
15 November 2019

Submission Details

Submissions must be original and not published elsewhere. They will be peer reviewed by members of the program committee. The reviewing process will be double-blind, so please omit information about the authors in the submitted paper. 

Submit your manuscript in Springer LNCS format and provide up to five keywords in your Abstract

Page limit: 16 pages
Submission link:


Giovanni Iacca
Doina Bucur