The mission of the /European Laboratory on Big Data Analytics and Social Mining/ is to perform advanced research and analyses on the emerging challenges posed by big data, namely the digital breadcrumbs of human activities continually sensed by the ICT systems that people use. The extreme detail of these data is surprising and, ultimately, they are at the heart of the very idea of a knowledge society: a society where decisions – small or big, by business or policy makers – can be taken on the basis of reliable knowledge, distilled from the ubiquitous digital traces generated as a side effect of our living. Increasingly sophisticated data analysis and data mining techniques, called social mining, support knowledge discovery from human activity data, enabling the extraction of individual social profiles and collective behaviors, the analysis of spreading and epidemics over multi-dimensional networks, the analysis of sentiment and opinion evolution, the extraction of mobility patterns and models. A steady supply of knowledge across various social dimensions is needed to understand and predict complex social phenomena. The vision that the /European Laboratory on Big Data Analytics and Social Minin/g adheres to is that of a Planetary Nervous System: a technology for efficient and privacy-aware processing of big data in order to make accurate analytical and predictive social mining models available for addressing questions about social complexity. The /European Laboratory on Big Data Analytics and Social Mining/ aims at meeting this challenge by aggregating multi-disciplinary competencies and computational resources in order to conduct privacy-aware research experiments, social mining and visual analytics on big data.

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