Social networks are still a relatively new as a communications technology, but rapid advances are already causing the original definition to evolve.
In particular, the proliferation of mobile devices along with increased networking capabilities has spurred development of an entirely new kind of social network -- the opportunistic mobile social network. Opportunistic mobile social networks are platforms that provide services aimed at maintaining social connections through a handheld, wireless device. Characteristics of these networks include intermittent contacts, disconnections and reconnections, energy and storage limitations.
The study of opportunistic mobile social networks is of great interest to scholars, industry and consumers because of the potential for the technology, and Kettering University faculty member Dr. Yungsheng Wang, assistant professor of Computer Science, has co-edited a comprehensive new book on the topic called, Opportunistic Mobile Social Networks.
“This is a new and rapidly growing field,” Wang said. “Practically speaking, there is great interest in the potential of these networks because they can foster new forms of collaboration and offer new types of services.”
The book looks at both theoretical and practical perspectives related to opportunistic mobile social networks. On the theoretical side, new research areas are emerging to look at technological, social, behavioral, legal and ethical elements to the technology. From a practical standpoint, the technology potentially offers new opportunities for individuals, businesses and governmental units to explore areas like location-based services, crisis management or warning systems, business cooperation systems and other content distribution technologies.
“Social networks in general are of interest to a large range of industries and disciplines,” Wang said. “There is much to be learned by studying these networks.”
The book, co-edited by Dr. Jie Wu of Temple University, explores a wide range of concepts related to the technology, including fundamental concepts and models, routing and forwarding schemes, privacy and security and applications and testbeds. The book features contributions from nearly 50 scholars from some of the finest research institutions in the world.
“We were able to put together this book as a reference to give readers insight into the technical challenges associated with mobile social networking,” Wang said. “It will hopefully be a good starting point for exploring ways to overcome those challenges."
Wang received a bachelor’s degree in electronic and information engineering from Dalian University of Technology in China. He has a master’s degree in telecommunication from University College of London and completed his Ph.D. at Temple University.
His research is focused on the efficient communication in delay tolerant networks and opportunistic mobile social networks. He’s the track co-chair of the International Workshop on Mobile Sensing, Computing and Communication and also serves on technical program committees of several IEEE conferences.
He joined the Kettering University faculty in 2013.
“I was interested in Kettering because of the University’s good reputation in STEM fields and in co-op,” Wang said. “There is a great culture here for both teaching and conducting research.”
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