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SAND Lab is moving! We're moving to University of Chicago from UCSB in summer 2017!

The SAND Lab (Systems, Algorithms, Networking and Data) at University of Chicago is co-directed by Professor Ben Y. Zhao and Professor Heather Zheng. Our research spans topics in networked systems, social networks, HCI, wireless networks, security, data mining and modeling. Lab members includes (8-9) PhD and MS students, undergrad researchers, and visiting scholars.


NSF is funding our new project on analysis of and defenses against SybilDevices!

Congrats to Xinyi, Shiliang, Megan for their ICWSM papers (one on echo chambers, one on Venmo mobile payments)!

Congrats to Qingyun, Xiaohan for their social network dynamics self-similarity paper at ACM TOMPECS!

Congrats to Qingyun, Bolun, Shiliang and Xinyi for their IMC papers (Periscope and Link Prediction)!

Congrats to Ana, Zhijing, Yanzi and Xia for their SenSys paper!

Double congratulations to Gang for his new tenure track faculty position at Virginia Tech, and for winning the UCSB CS Department Dissertation Award!

Congrats to Heather for her Google Faculty Award on 60GHz wireless networks!

Congrats to Gang, Bolun, Tianyi and Ana for their paper at MobiSys 2016!

Congrats to Gang, Xinyi and Shiliang for their upcoming paper at CHI 2016!!

Current Research Areas

Research at the SAND lab encompasses topics across multiple areas, most heavily centered around three core areas: wireless and mobile systems, social networks: measurements and security, and graph analysis and modeling. Please see individual links below for more information on specific ongoing projects and related publications.

Wireless and Mobile Systems


Measurements and Security

  • Projects
  • Malicious Crowdsourcing and Defenses
  • Detecting Spam and Sybils in Social Networks
  • Measurements of Social Systems and Networks

Graph Analysis and Modeling


Recent Papers (2014-2017)

  • ICWSM: Echo chambers in discussion boards
  • ICWSM: Venmo mobile payments
  • MobiSys: Single device 60GHz radar
  • WWW: Identifying value in crowdsourced data
  • IMC: Anatomy of personalized livestreaming svcs
  • IMC: Empirical link prediction
  • SenSys: Commodity Spectrum Monitoring
  • MobiSys: Defending Against Sybil Devices
  • ICWSM: Misbehavior in location-based soc. networks
  • CHI: Unsupervised clickstream clustering
  • NSDI: Cellular traffic optimization
  • COSN: Towards Graph Watermarks
  • COSN: Process-driven Analysis of Dynamics in Online Social Interactions
  • Mobicom: Practical 60GHz Mobile Radar
  • SIGCOMM: Congestion Control for Large-scale RDMA Deployments
  • SIGCOMM: Packet-Level Telemetry in Large Datacenter Networks
  • WWW: Energy and Performance of Smartphone Radio Bundling in Outdoor Environments
  • CSCW: Crowds on Wall Street: Extracting Value from Collaborative Investing Platforms
  • IMC: Whispers in the Dark: Analysis of an Anonymous Social Network
  • HotWireless: Towards Commoditized Real-time Spectrum Monitoring
  • Mobicom: Cutting the Cord: A Robust Wireless Facilities Network for Data Centers
  • Mobicom: Demystifying 60GHz Outdoor Picocells
  • QShine: Understanding Data Hotspots in Cellular Networks
  • Usenix Security: Man vs. Machine: Practical Adversarial Detection of Malicious Crowdsourcing Workers
  • ICWSM: Link and Triadic Closure Delay: Temporal Metrics for Social Network Dynamics
  • TKDD: Uncovering Sybils in the Wild
  • Hotnets: On the Validity of Geosocial Mobility Traces
  • VLDB: On the Embeddability of Random Walk Distances

Available Software Downloads
* Measurement-calibrated graph models
* Graph Coordinate Systems (Orion, Rigel, Leo)

News and Upcoming Deadlines

  • 2/2016: Heather receives Google Faculty Award for 60GHz research
  • 2/2016: Congrats to Gang, Bolun for their MobiSys paper on Sybil Devices!
  • 12/2015: Congrats to Gang, Xinyi, Shiliang for the lab's first CHI paper on clickstream models for user behavior analysis
  • 7/2015: Congrats to Xiaohan & Qingyun for their COSN paper on graph watermarks
  • 6/2015: Congrats to Yanzi and Yibo for 60GHz radar paper @ Mobicom