Postdoc Position - Optimising the Impact of Press Releases in Large Social Networks

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Department of Computer Science

The department of Computer Science at KU Leuven, campus Kulak in Kortrijk, research group CODeS, is looking for a doctor in Computer Science, Mathematics, or Physics for an ambitious research project on the use of social media in communication. The research project is supported by the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and will be executed in close collaboration with the software company Prezly ( ), which specializes in software support for public relations. The goal of the project is to lay the foundations for an efficient dissemination of press releases in large online networks of potential contacts, such as journalists and bloggers. The most common approach for media outreach is to email as many contacts as possible. Through this ‘spray and pray’ approach, however, organizations are drowning media and bloggers in information, which results in ineffective PR campaigns and permanent damage to the reputation of organizations. Through analysis of the observed network of contacts, we aim to select a minimal set of contacts that can have maximal impact in the social network, and to reduce the amount of irrelevant communication.The postdoctoral researcher will apply the existing literature as well as data mining techniques for the analysis of very large graphs with a view to realizing a powerful algorithm and efficient decision support. The measure of success for this algorithm consists in the ratio between the number of contacted persons and their actual influence in social networks, which is determined through long-term observations.

More information: Website unit 


  • You work in close collaboration with the company. Your responsibility is to realize the project goals as described in the project proposal.
  • Additionally, you interact with the other members of the research team who work on related topics (postdoctoral and doctoral researchers, as well as the head of the group).
  • You publish on the results of the project in internationally-oriented journals and at conferences, in consultation with the company.


  • Master in science, engineering science, or computer science required. A PhD is advisable.
  • An excellent academic track record. Familiarity with optimization techniques, in particular discrete optimization, OR familiarity with principles of statistical mechanics and their application in the context of the project.
  • Familiarity with graphs and/or mining of social media data as well as information retrieval is advisable.

A full-time position of 12 months, extendable to at least 18 months, with possible renewal on a related project.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Patrick De Causmaecker, tel.: +32 56 24 60 02, mail: or Dr. Frederik Cornillie, tel.: +32 56 24 64 40, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than December 21, 2016 via the online application tool

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