Chiara Boldrini

Chiara Boldrini

Permanent researcher



I’m a permanent researcher in the Ubiquitous Internet group of IIT-CNR in Italy.

I am currently pursuing three main research directions. (1) I work on human behavioral/cognitive models for the analysis and design of online social networks. As an example, I am investigating the role that Dunbar’s social circles play in how we interact online (e.g., for link prediction or opinion dynamics). While Dunbar’s social circles may not be known to you, Dunbar’s number should be. (2) I also study social-aware fully decentralized learning approaches, where users’ personal devices collaborate in a learning task without the coordination of a central server (aka moving beyond federated learning). (3) I am investigating how to apply causal learning in pervasive systems.

In the past, I have studied issues related to smart transportation, with a special focus on electric car sharing systems. In particular, I have designed optimized supply models for innovative car sharing systems and I have investigated the potential of mining car sharing datasets (hint: lots of very interesting info can be discovered). I have also worked extensively on both the algorithmic aspects of opportunistic networks (contributing the HiBOp and ContentPlace protocols) and their analytical modelling. While opportunistic networks have never left the research labs to become mainstream, many ideas behind them have (e.g., computation at the Internet edge in 5G networks and D2D contact tracing for COVID-19). I have also worked on the modelization of human mobility (you may have heard of the HCMM protocol).

My h-index is 23 (source: Google Scholar, March 2022).


  • Social Computing & Computational Social Science
  • Human-centered Decentralized AI
  • Causality for Machine Learning
  • Internet of People
  • Smart Transportation and Urban Data Science
  • Opportunistic/Delay-Tolerant Networks
  • Human Mobility


  • PhD in Information Engineering, 2010

    University of Pisa

  • MSc in Computer Engineering, 2006

    University of Pisa

  • BSc in Computer Engineering, 2003

    University of Pisa

What’s going on

New & noteworthy

I’m hiring!

I am looking for a research assistant/post-doc on the topic of causal learning for pervasive systems. Check out the detailed description here.

IEEE ICNP 2022 workshops co-chair

I’m serving as workshops co-chair for IEEE ICNP 2022.

Elsevier PMC Journal Best Editor Award 2020

I was nominated Best Editor 2020 for the Pervasive and Mobile Computing journal.

IEEE SmartComp 2022 TPC co-chair

I’m serving as TPC co-chair for IEEE SmartComp 2022.

ACM MobiHoc 2022 workshops co-chair

I’m serving as workshops co-chair for ACM MobiHoc 2022.

Community Service

Editorial activity

Guest Editor for the Elsevier Pervasive and Mobile Computing Special Issue IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom) 2021.

Lead Guest Editor for the Elsevier Pervasive and Mobile Computing Special Issue on IoT for Fighting COVID-19.

Editorial board member for Elsevier Computer Communications (since September 2018).

Editorial board member for Elsevier Pervasive and Mobile Computing (since September 2018).

Guest editor of the OSNEM CAOS 2019 Fast Track.

Guest editor of the Computer Communications CHANTS 2016 Fast Track.

Guest editor of the Computer Communications Special Issue on Opportunistic Networking, together with Kyunghan Lee, Melek Önen, Joerg Ott, and Elena Pagani. Check it out here.

Guest editor of the AOC 2011 Fast Track on Computer Communications.

Organising Committee

Conference TPC Chair

TPC co-chair for IEEE SmartComp 2022 with Simone Silvestri (Univ. of Kentucky, USA).

TPC vice-chair for IEEE PerCom 2021 with Paul Castro (IBM Watson, USA) and Mahbub Hassan (University of New South Wales, Australia). The TPC chair is Amy L. Murphy (Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy).

Virtual Conference Chair


Workshops co-chair

IEEE ICNP 2022, with Kate Ching-Ju Lin.

ACM MobiHoc 2022, with Christopher G. Brinton.

IEEE PerCom 2016, together with Salil Kanhere.

Demo/poster co-chair

ACM MobiOpp 2012, together with Daniele Puccinelli.

PhD forum co-chair

IEEE SECON 2021, together with Eirini Eleni Tsiropoulou.

IEEE PerCom 2020, together with Diane J. Cook.

Workshop organiser

The first MoD@ITSC17 workshop on Mobility-on-Demand systems, colocated with IEEE ITSC'17. My co-organisers were Raffaele Bruno, Francesco Ciari, Hironori Kato, Kara Kockelman.

Workshop TPC co-chair

IEEE CAOS 2020: The First IEEE INFOCOM Workshop on the Communications and Networking Aspects of Online Social Networks. TPC co-chair: Fabrizio Silvestri (Facebook).

IEEE CAOS 2019: The First IEEE INFOCOM Workshop on the Communications and Networking Aspects of Online Social Networks. TPC co-chair: Fabrizio Silvestri (Facebook).

ACM CHANTS 2016 (together with Marcelo Dias de Amorim from UPMC), IEEE AOC 2012 (together with Merkouris Karaliopoulos, from the University of Athens), IEEE AOC 2011 (together with Elena Pagani from the University of Milan).

Publication chair

IEEE PerCom 2015, IEEE PerCom 2014, ACM MobiOpp 2010

Publicity chair

IEEE PerCom 2013, IEEE PerCom 2012


IJCAI-ECAI 22 Special track on AI for Good (AI4G), AAAI ICWSM 2022, The Web Conference 2022, IEEE WoWMoM 2022, IEEE PerCom 2022, ICCCN 2022, HHAI 2022, IE 2022, MIMODE (Migration and Mobility Research in the Digital Era) 2021, IEEE IPCCC 2021, BNAIC/BeneLearn 2021, AAAI ICWSM 2021, IEEE IPCCC 2021, IEEE SMARTCOMP 2021, IE 2021, HMB2020@SocInfo2020, AAAI ICWSM 2020, IEEE STINT 2020, IEEE IPCCC 2020, IE 2020, IEEE PerCom 2020, IE 2019, IEEE IPCCC 2019, ACM CHANTS 2019, IEEE PerCom 2019, IEEE PerCom 2019 WiP, ACM CHANTS 2018, IE 2018, IEEE LNC 2018, IEEE PerCom 2018, IEEE PerCom 2018 WiP, CoNEXT I-TENDER 2017, IFIP Networking 2017 (Poster and demo session), ACM CHANTS 2017, IEEE LNC 2017, VTC2017-Spring (Track: 1. Ad-Hoc, Mesh, M2M, and Sensor Networks), IEEE PerCom 2017, IEEE CoMoRea 2017, IEEE LNC 2016, IEEE PerCom 2016, IEEE PerCom Demos 2016, ICDCN'16, IEEE CoMoRea 2016, IEEE AOC 2016, ACM CHANTS'15, IEEE AOC 2015, IEEE CoMoRea 2015, IEEE PerMoby 2015, IEEE PerCom 2015, IEEE PerCom Ph.D. Forum 2015, IEEE ICDCN 2015, ACM CHANTS'14, IEEE ICCVE 2014, IEEE AOC 2014, IEEE PerCom 2014, IEEE PerMoby 2014, WON 2014, ACM CHANTS'13, IEEE ICCVE 2013, IEEE VTC'13, IEEE AOC'13, IEEE PerMoby'13, DySMoNet 2013, MiPS'13, ADHOCNETS'11, MNA'11, ACM MobiOpp 2010

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Shared mobility and urban data science

Ego network analysis, information-driven social links and impact on information diffusion

Supervising & Teaching

I am co-supervising the following PhD students:

  • Kilian Ollivier - PhD Data Science, joint initiative by Scuola Normale Superiore, University of Pisa, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, IMT Lucca, CNR
  • Jack Tacchi - PhD Data Science, joint initiative by Scuola Normale Superiore, University of Pisa, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, IMT Lucca, CNR

In the past, I have co-supervised:

  • Mustafa Toprak (graduated in 2021) - PhD Program in Smart Computing, joint program by the universities of Florence, Pisa, and Siena
  • Elisabetta Biondi (graduated in 2017) - PhD Program in Information Engineering - University of Pisa.

I am not teaching any classes right now (we don’t have teaching obligations at CNR).

Past classes



Social eXplainable Artificial Intelligence

H2020 HumaneAI-Net

Network of Excellence for European Human-Centered AI

H2020 SoBigData++

European Research Infrastructure for Big Data and Social Mining.

H2020 HumaneAI

Research Roadmap for European Human-Centered AI

H2020 Replicate

Renaissance of Places with Innovative Citizenship and Technology

LIGA (A Fortissimo 2 Experiment)

Large-Scale Indie Gaming Analytics (LIGA)

H2020 SoBigData

European Research Infrastructure for Big Data and Social Mining.


Easily diStributed Personal RapId Transit


An innovative paradigm for autonomic opportunistic communication.


Network of excellence in Internet Science.


Mobile OpportunisTic Traffic Offloading.


Relevance and cognition for self-awareness in a content-centric Internet.


Service platform for social Aware Mobile and Pervasive computIng.


SOCIALNETS Social networking for pervasive adaptation.

Recent Publications

Quickly discover relevant content by filtering publications.
(2022). Models for digitally contact-traced epidemics. arXiv.

arXiv URL

(2022). Structural invariants and semantic fingerprints in the "ego network" of words. arXiv.

arXiv URL

(2022). Harnessing the Power of Ego Network Layers for Link Prediction in Online Social Networks. IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems.

arXiv URL

(2021). Give more data, awareness and control to individual citizens, and they will help COVID-19 containment. Ethics and Information Technology.


(2021). Structural Models of Human Social Interactions in Online Smart Communities: the Case of Region-based Journalists on Twitter. arXiv preprint arXiv:2110.01925.



National qualification for Full Professorship


Nov 2020 – Oct 2029
Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale I Fascia, settore 09/H1

National qualification for Associate Professorship


Aug 2018 – Jul 2027
Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale II Fascia, settori 01/B1 e 09/H1

Permanent researcher


Mar 2011 – Present Pisa

Temporary researcher


Mar 2010 – Feb 2011 Pisa

Visiting PhD student


Sep 2008 – Dec 2008 Zurich

Research assistant


Jan 2007 – Feb 2010 Pisa

Open positions

Position #1


Causality-aware AI in pervasive environments

Position type

Research assistant (graduate) or post-doc for 1 year


The current iteration of centralized, black-box, deep-learning-based AI has accomplished tasks that were unimaginable just a decade ago. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that its shortcomings cannot be addressed with some minor tweaks of the current approach. We propose to establish a synergy between a network of heterogenous electronic devices (smartphones, wearables, IoT devices, virtual assistants, etc.) and causal explainable AI, leveraging our hyperconnected environments to set up causal experiments and deploy the next wave of decentralized human-centric causal intelligent learning.

We are looking for a graduate student or a post-doc that will be working on a causality-aware approach for problems that, in the last decade, have been tackled with traditional, associations-based, machine-/deep-learning approaches. The target use cases will be centered around pervasive systems. The research activities will be a mix of modelling, systems/algorithms design, performance evaluation via experiments, analysis, simulation.

Candidate profile

Ideal candidates should have or about to obtain a MSc degree (for the graduate position) or PhD degree (for the post-doc position) in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mathematics, or closely related disciplines, and a proven track record of excellent University grades (graduate position) or of publications in relevant top-tier conferences and journals (post-doc position).

The ideal candidate has a research curriculum on relevant research areas (Probability & Statistics, Artificial Intelligence, BigData analytics). Previous knowledge of causality theory is a plus.

Good written and spoken communication skills in English are required.

How to apply

Please send me an email with a short cv. I will provide additional information.