Alexandra Olteanu

I maintain


I defended my PhD Thesis early this year, and I am currently on a post-graduation, self-funded sabbatical 🎉 (though I do stay engaged, e.g. attending conferences and giving talks)


Research Interests

Computational Social Science, Social Computing, Crisis Computing, Social Systems, Social Media, Data Biases, Data Quality, Algorithmic Discrimination, Social Issues.


For a more extensive summary of my research interests you can also check my research statement.

Publications (and a tutorial)

This includes only my publications while @EPFL. For a more complete list see Scholar or my CV.
Legend:   PDF     Thesis/Book     Datasets     Website     Code/Tools     Slides     Award
[CSCW'17] What Does Social Media Say about the Outcomes of Personal Experiences? Alexandra Olteanu, Onur Varol, and Emre Kıcıman. Accepted to the 20th ACM Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW’17) Portland, OR, US, February 2017.
[ICWSM'16 Tutorial] A Critical Review of Online Social Data: Limitations, Ethical Challenges, and Current Solutions. Carlos Castillo, Fernando Diaz, Emre Kıcıman, and Alexandra Olteanu (Alphabetical Order). 10th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM'16), Cologne, Germany, May 2016.
[ICWSM'16 Short Paper] Towards an Open-Domain Framework for Distilling the Outcomes of Personal Experiences from Social Media Timelines. Alexandra Olteanu, Onur Varol, and Emre Kıcıman. In Proceedings of 10th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM'16), Cologne, Germany, May 2016. Variants of this work have also been presented at Collective Intelligence (CI'16), New York, US, June 2016, and at the International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2'16), Illinois, US, June 2016.
[SSS'16 EA] Characterizing the Demographics Behind the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. Alexandra Olteanu, Ingmar Weber, and Daniel Gatica-Perez. In AAAI Spring Symposia on Observational Studies through Social Media and Other Human-Generated Content (SSS’16 OSSM), Stanford, US, March 2016.
[PhD Thesis'16] Probing the Limits of Social Data: Biases, Methods, and Domain Knowledge. Alexandra Olteanu. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, January 2016.
[ICWSM'15] Comparing Events Coverage in Online News and Social Media: The Case of Climate Change. Alexandra Olteanu, Carlos Castillo, Nicholas Diakopoulos, and Karl Aberer. In Proceedings of 9th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM'15), Oxford, UK, May 2015.
[CSCW'15] What to Expect When the Unexpected Happens: Social Media Communications Across Crises. Alexandra Olteanu, Sarah Vieweg, and Carlos Castillo. In Proceedings of 18th ACM Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW’15), Vancouver, BC, Canada, March 2015.
[WISE'14] Comparing the Predictive Capability of Social and Interest Affinity for Recommendations. Alexandra Olteanu, Anne-Marie Kermarrec, and Karl Aberer. In Proceedings of 15th International Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering (WISE'14), Thessaloniki, Greece, October 2014. (Best paper award)
[ICWSM'14] CrisisLex: A Lexicon for Collecting and Filtering Microblogged Communications in Crises. Alexandra Olteanu, Carlos Castillo, Fernando Diaz, and Sarah Vieweg. In Proceedings of 8th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM'14), Ann Arbor, US, June 2014.
[ECIR'13] Web Credibility: Features Exploration and Credibility Prediction. Alexandra Olteanu, Stanislav Peshterliev, Xin Liu, and Karl Aberer. In Proceedings of the 34th European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR'13), Moscow, Russia, March 2013.
[CHI'13 EA] CredibleWeb: A Platform for Web Credibility Evaluation. Zhicong Huang, Alexandra Olteanu, and Karl Aberer. In Proceedings of CHI’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paris, France, May 2013.
[ICDM'12 Demo] Topick: Accurate Topic Distillation from Users Streams. Anton Dimitrov, Alexandra Olteanu, Luke McDowell, and Karl Aberer. In Proceedings of 13th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM’12), Demo Session, Brussels, Belgium, December 2012.
[CIKM'12] A Decentralized Recommender System for Effective Web Credibility Assessment. Thanasis Papaioannou, Jean-Eudes Ranvier, Alexandra Olteanu, and Karl Aberer. In Proceedings of the 21th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM’12), Hawaii, USA, November 2012.
[SNS'12] Towards Robust and Scalable Peer-to-Peer Social Networks. Alexandra Olteanu and Guillaume Pierre. In Proceedings of the 5th EuroSys’ Workshop on Social Network Systems (SNS’12), Bern, Switzerland, May 2012 (Best paper award)

Selected Media Coverage & Impact

July 2015 CrisisLex Taxonomies Available in GDELT Global Knowledge Graph. The GDELT Project.
April 2015 Why You Shouldn’t Only Get Your Climate Change News from the Mainstream Media. The Washington Post.
March 2015 Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Other Disasters on Twitter. La Stampa (in Italian).
February 2015 Crisis Tweets Study Identifies What to Expect During Emergencies. Emergency Management.
February 2015 The Role of Twitter During Emergencies and Disasters. Sky TG24 (in Italian).
February 2015 Could This Be The Most Comprehensive Study of Crisis Tweets Yet?. iRevolutions Blog.
December 2014 World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2014. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Professional Service

Program Committee: ICWSM’16, SIGIR’16 (short papers)
External Reviewer: CHI’16, CSCW’16, WISE’12/’13/’14, VLDB’13, ICDE’13, IWSOS’13, ISWC’12, ICDCS’12