Research Experience

  • Present 2011

    Research Scholar - NEU

    Northeastern University, Center for Complex Network Research

  • Present 2011

    PhD candidate - UCL

    University of Louvain, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics

  • 2011 2011

    Visiting Scholar - MIT

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Education & Training

  • M.Sc. 2011

    Master of Science in Computer Science Engineering

    University of Louvain, Belgium

  • B.Sc. 2009

    Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Engineering and Applied Mathematics

    University of Louvain, Belgium

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • 2013-2014
    Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) Fellow
    baef
    The Belgian American Educational Foundation Inc. is the leading independent philanthropy in the support of exchanging university students, scientists and scholars between the United States and Belgium.
  • 2011-2015
    FNRS Research Fellow
    fnrs
    The task of the FWO and F.R.S.–FNRS is to stimulate the development of new knowledge in all scientific disciplines. The means to achieve this, is to finance excellent scientists and research projects after an inter-University competition and with an evaluation by foreign experts. The criterion for support is the scientific quality of the scientist and the research proposal, irrespective of scientific discipline.

Some Collaborators

Andy Tatem

University of Southampton

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Zbigniew Smoreda

Orange Labs, France

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Vincent Blondel

University of Louvain & MIT

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Albert-László Barabási

Northeastern University & Harvard Medical School

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Roberta Sinatra

Northeastern University

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Dashun Wang

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

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Chaoming Song

University of Miami

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Catherine Linard

Université Libre de Bruxelles

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«Two heads are better than one»

Research Projects

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    Career on the move: Geography, Stratification, and Scientific Impact

    Changing institutions is an integral part of an academic life. Yet little is known about the mobility patterns of scientists at an institutional level and how these career choices affect their scientific productivity.

    Changing institutions is an integral part of an academic life. Yet little is known about the mobility patterns of scientists at an institutional level and how these career choices affect their scientific productivity. Here, by examining 400,000 papers, we follow the affiliation information therein for individual scientists, allowing us to reconstruct their career trajectories over decades. We find that career movements are not only temporally and spatially localized, but also characterized by a high degree of stratification in institutional ranking. When cross-group movement occurs, we find that whereas going from elite to lower-rank institutes on average associates with modest decrease in scientific performance, transitioning into elite institutions does not imply any consequent gain in performance. These results present among the first few empirical evidence on institutional level career choices and movements and have potential implications for science policy.

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    Connections between Human Mobility and Social Communications

    By exploiting three different cell phone datasets, we find a set of scaling relationships, mediated by a universal flux distribution, that link the quantities characterizing human mobility and spatial networks.

    With the increasing availability of large-scale datasets that simultaneously capture human movements and social interactions, advances in human mobility and spatial networks have rapidly proliferated during the past years, impacting in a meaningful fashion a wide range of areas, from epidemic prevention and emergency response to urban planning and traffic forecasting. As human mobility and spatial networks have developed in parallel, being pursued as separate lines of inquiry, we lack any known relationships between the quantities explored by them, despite the fact that they often study the same systems and datasets. Here, by exploiting three different cell phone datasets, we find a set of scaling relationships, mediated by a universal flux distribution, that link the quantities characterizing human mobility and spatial networks, showing that the widely studied scaling laws uncovered in the two areas represent two facets of the same underlying phenomena.

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    Dynamic Population Mapping Using Mobile Phone Data

    Mobile phone data are a promising alternative data source for population estimation and mobility prediction, especially because it provides dynamic information on population distribution.

    Many applications rely on information about the spatial distribution of human population, yet, our knowledge of human population distribution remains surprisingly poor in many areas of the world. Whilst the use of GPS and GIS in census data collection and processing, and the advent of detailed satellite imagery are facilitating improvements in spatial resolution and accuracy in population mapping, they remain tied to the census date and little information exists to inform on temporal changes in population distributions across scales of days, weeks, months or years. Such features constrain the effective application of population maps in situations where timely information is required, such as disasters, conflicts or epidemics.

    Here, we use mobile phone call detail records to produce accurate and cost-effective datasets depicting human population distribution. By using phone call activities at cell towers, we show how spatially and temporarily explicit estimations of population densities across countries and their changes over multiple timescales can be produced, while preserving the anonymity of individual users.

    A dataset containing more than 1 billion mobile phone call records over a period of 5 months is used to calibrate and validate the approach, and comparisons with existing population mapping methods reliant on remotely sensed and geospatial data revealed the high accuracy and flexibility of the phone-based approach, especially in densely populated areas. Finally, the methods were optimized in order to be widely applied, especially in developing countries where population data are scarce.

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    Mobile Phone Communications Help Identify Stable Regions

    Mobile phone data are used to build a social network and to automatically detect cohesive communities of users in a country.

    We describe a network constructed from anonymized mobile phone communications between 17 million mobile phone users in France over a period of 5 months. We use this network and a community detection method to automatically identify cohesive communities in France. The identified communities are contiguous and interestingly coincide with the administrative regions in France. We further analyze the stability of the communities by modifying the detection algorithm and the time frame used for the detection.

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Connections between Human Mobility and Social Communications.

Pierre Deville, Dashun Wang, Chaoming Song, Vincent D. Blondel and Albert-László Barabási
Under submission (2014)

Dynamic Population Mapping Using Mobile Phone Data

Pierre Deville, Catherine Linard, Samuel Martin, Forrest R. Stevens, Andrea E. Gaughan, Marius Gilbert, Vincent D. Blondel, Andrew J. Tatem
Under review (2014)

Scientific impact: the Story of your Big Hit

Roberta Sinatra, Dashun Wang, Pierre Deville, Chaoming Song and Albert-László Barabási
Under review (2014)

Career on the Move: Geography, Stratification, and Scientific Impact

Pierre Deville, Dashun Wang, Roberta Sinatra, Chaoming Song, Vincent Blondel and Albert-László Barabási
Journal paper Nature Scientific Reports 4, 4770 (2014)

Data for Development: the D4D Challenge on Mobile Phone Data

Vincent D Blondel, Markus Esch, Connie Chan, Fabrice Clerot, Pierre Deville, Etienne Huens, Frédéric Morlot, Zbigniew Smoreda and Cezary Ziemlicki
Data paper arXiv preprint arXiv:1210.0137 (2012).

Mobile Phone Communications Help Identify Stable Regions in France

Pierre Deville, Vincent Blondel, Paul Van Dooren, Zbigniew Smoreda
Conference paper 31th Benelux Meeting on Systems and Control, (2012)

Voice on the Border: Do Cellphones Redraw the Maps?

Vincent Blondel, Pierre Deville, Frédéric Morlot, Zbigniew Smoreda, Paul Van Dooren and Cezary Ziemlicki
Journal paper ParisTech Review (2011)

Boston, USA

You can find me most of the week days at my office located on Northeastern University campus

  •    Address:
    Center for Complex Network Research
    111 DA/Physics Dept.
    110 Forsyth Street
    Boston, MA 02115, USA

  •    Office: +1 617 373 8055

Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

You can find me occasionally at my office located on the campus of the University of Louvain. I will be there for a few weeks on September 2014

  •    Address:
    Institut ICTEAM/Pôle INMA
    University of Louvain
    Batiment Euler, Avenue G. Lemaitre, 4,
    1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

  •    Office: +32 (0)1 047 23 83

Brussels, Belgium

You can find me occasionally at Swan Insights Headquarter. I will be there for a few weeks in September 2014

  •    Address:
    Swan Insights sa/nv
    Gulledelle, 94
    B-1200 Brussels, Belgium

  •    Office: +32 (0)2 880 51 61