Technical Committee on Social Networks (TCSN)
IEEE Communications Society
Policies & Procedures (P&P)


The Technical Committee on Social Networks (TCSN) of the IEEE Communications Society is created to promote knowledge and dissemination of knowledge related to social networks, such as facilitating technical discussions and interactions on topics in the general area of social networks, as well as giving members the opportunity to broaden their professional contacts through interactions with peers. TCSN serves as a forum for researchers and technologists to discuss the state-of-the-art, present their contributions, and foster the development of new emerging topical areas in social networks. To achieve these goals, TCSN conducts meetings twice per year, initiates liaisons for interactions with other related Technical Committees, disseminates information via the web page, the newsletter, and the mailing list. TCSN serves as ComSoc’s focal point in the areas of social network, supporting IEEE ComSoc’s activities (e.g., ComSoc’s journals, magazines, conferences, IEEE standard activities, and the recognition and proposal of candidates) and organizing symposia, workshops, sessions and tutorials at ComSoc conferences. The scope of the Committee includes (but not limited to):

  • formation and evolution of human social networks
  • information propagation and dissemination in human social networks
  • small world phenomenon and its implication in telecommunication networks
  • convergence of telecommunication networks and human social networks
  • social-aware network solutions in wireless and wireline communications systems
  • cross-layer design for social networks and the underlying communications platforms
  • AI for communications and networking
  • optimization and protocol design for mobile social networks
  • network graph modeling, measurements, simulations, and experiments
  • analysis of dynamics and trends in the evolutions of social networks
  • analysis and control of belief, influence, and rumor propagations in social environments
  • analysis of social media, trust, and reputation
  • privacy and security in social network
  • social signal processing
  • data mining, machine learning, information retrieval, and artificial intelligence in social contexts
  • infrastructure, platform, protocol design, and optimization for mobile social clouds and social Internet-of-Things
  • innovative applications in social networks and services for mobile Internet, multimedia networks, mobile e-commerce, and cyber-physical systems
  • multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research on social networks
  • new applications and services

The Committee also assumes the duty to provide technical support to the development of ComSoc conferences, publications, standards, and educational activities, including: nominating suitable candidates for ComSoc and IEEE awards, proposing distinguished lecturer candidates, endorsing deserving candidates for the election to IEEE Senior Member and Fellow grade.

Membership Requirements

Any IEEE ComSoc member, who has been active in the TC activities for the past three years, can be an active member of the TCSN. Also, it is necessary to subscribe to the TCSN mailing list. A TC active member shall attend (physically present or by teleconference) three or more of the prior six regular scheduled TC meetings for the past three years, cast informed votes on TC business, and be encouraged to assist in the conduct of TC business. Individuals who are not ComSoc members may participate in TC activities as collaborators.

Elected and Appointed Officers

The Committee has elected officers: Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary. Each position is for a term of two years. If the position of any officer becomes vacant prior to the normal conclusion of his/her term, the position will be filled for the remaining of the term through a special election.

  • The Chair shall
    • report directly to the Vice President Technical Activities within the guidelines of ComSoc and represent the committee to TAC and to any other ComSoc Committee or board meeting which requires representation
    • coordinate with ComSoc Staff in the conduct of his/her responsibilities
    • provides guidance and direction to Technical Committee members in the conduct of their responsibilities
    • appoint Chairs of Subcommittees and Special Interest Groups as necessary
    • plan the Committee activities, including Committee meetings, and manage the Committee finances
    • propose changes to the committee policies and procedures to adapt the committee legislation to the dynamics of ComSoc
    • assume leadership for specific projects, as delegated by the Technical Committee
  • The Vice Chair shall
    • assume the Chair’s responsibilities in case of his/her absence
    • assists the Chair and Secretary in his/her activities
  • The Secretary shall
    • coordinate the TC meetings, arranging the meeting time schedule, reserving the meeting room and food, informing the members via the e-mail list, and maintain an attendance list for members who participate in the committee meetings
    • prepare reports for the TC and Technical Committees Board meetings
    • provide an annual written report, which shall be distributed to the VP-TEA-C, the Director-Technical Committees, and TC members prior to each meeting held at ICC
    • record the minutes of the TC meetings
    • maintain contact with the TC members and Chair
    • send announcements to the TC e-mail list
    • maintain and updates the TC web page and repositories

Other appointed officers (e.g., Conference Coordinator, Standards Liaison, Web Coordinator, and Advisory Committee) are determined at the discretion of the elected officers, serving a term coincident with the officers.

Nominations & Election Policies

Nomination Process

A Nomination Subcommittee will be appointed by the committee officers to determine the deadline for submitting nominations, offer candidate names for all elected officer positions, define the tool/way of election, and conduct the election. All candidates must consent to their nominations and must show a willingness to serve the committee if elected. Eligible candidates for nominations for the committee officer position(s) are those who are TC active members, supported the mission of TC, and substantially contributed their efforts to TC activities in past years. The eligible candidates or the nominators of the eligible candidates should send the biographies and position statements of the candidates to the Nomination Subcommittee. Members shall be able to submit nominations via email by communicating to the current Chair, Vice Chairs, Secretary, or directly to the Nomination Subcommittee up to the deadline specified by the Nomination Subcommittee.

Election and Voting Process

The elections are conducted by the means decided by the Nomination Subcommittee. Voting should occur at the meeting and only TC active members physically present have voting rights, and simple majority rules apply unless otherwise indicated. Votes will be counted by at least one officer of the TC and any other member (officer or not). The committee’s secretary will maintain a record of the election results.

Post Election

After each election of officers, the TC Chair shall provide an Election Report to the Director-Technical Committees and the VP-TEA within two weeks. The Election Report shall contain:

  • an outline of the election process
  • name of the person preparing the ballot
  • the candidates for each officer and how the candidates were selected for the ballot
  • the IEEE member number for each candidate
  • the method of voting (in person, electronically, by teleconference, etc.)
  • the method used to determine which members are entitled to vote.
  • a list of those active members who voted in the election
  • the actual vote tally by each candidate.

Election results shall be authorized by the Director – Technical Committees upon consultation with the VP-TEA. Election results become valid when approved by the Director – Technical Committees and the VP-TEA. The Director of Technical Committees or the VP-TEA shall accordingly notify the serving TC chair within two weeks after receipt of the Election Report. If the Director – Technical Committees does not authorize the election results, the Director shall organize a new election on behalf of the TC.



Subcommittees are working groups to develop main activities with which the Committee is involved. Each subcommittee has a chair appointed by the Committee Chair. Subcommittee members are also appointed by the Chair.


Liaisons can be created by the chair for interaction with other committees/conferences committees/working groups/other bodies operating in the specific areas of the committee charter.

Special Interest Groups (SIG)

The SIGs are organized groups of members who aim to foster and develop activities in specific topics of interest to the Committee. SIG should have a leader who reports to the Chair about the activities conducted. SIG can be created by the chair and must be approved by members in a committee meeting. The Chair can terminate a SIG in case it does not fulfill its goal. The termination of a SIG should be approved by members in a committee meeting.

Conducting Meeting

All TC meetings shall be conducted in compliance with Clause 2.0 of ComSoc’s P&Ps. The TC shall hold at least two in-person meetings per year, one at ICC or GLOBECOM (with the possibility of remote participation by dial-in). The meetings are open to any conference attendees. The time and place of the meetings will be announced at least one week in advance on the TC web page and by email through the TC mailing list. The Secretary or a designated substitute will take minutes. The TC may conduct additional meetings concurrent with flagship conferences for the TC. Conference calls, discussions via email, and voting via email shall be conducted on an as needed basis.

Supporting Activities

As appropriate, TCSN will be active in all of ComSoc’s activities. This will include ComSoc conferences (such as ICC, GLOBECOM, CCNC, INFOCOM, and WCNC, etc.), various IEEE standard activities, and the recognition and proposal of candidates for ComSoc and IEEE Best Paper and Career Awards nominations, as well as distinguished lecturer candidates, and candidates for the election to Senior Member and Fellow degrees. TCSN also supports ComSoc’s journals, magazines, and standards activities by soliciting volunteers as authors and editors, submitting proposals, and identifying committee members from its membership. TCSN can further organize conferences, workshops, and even summer/winter schools.

Also, because of the broad nature of committee activities, collaborative sessions with other committees will be endorsed and heartily encouraged. The Committee will provide technical sponsorship or endorsement to scientific initiatives in the specific areas of the committee charter. Initiatives considered for sponsorship or endorsement include symposia, workshops, conferences, proceedings, special issues, book and book chapters, etc. in the specific areas reported in the committee charter. Approval of sponsorship or endorsement of initiatives is performed during a committee meeting. The list of sponsored and endorsed initiatives should be published on the committee web page.


As part of the TC activities, awards are established to recognize a deserving and outstanding person with a high degree of visibility and contribution in the field of Social Networks (restricted to the scope of the TCSN).

  • Awards Subcommittee is the body responsible for indicating to the TC Chair the individuals to receive awards.
    • The Chair of the Awards Subcommittee shall be appointed by the TC Chair, conduct the selection process, and select awardees.
    • The TC Chair shall appoint four members to the Awards Subcommittee including at least one TC officer (unless conflicts of interest exist for all officers).
    • The members of the Awards Subcommittee, including the Chair, shall be approved in a TC meeting.
    • The Awards Subcommittee Chair and members are re‐appointed or changed at the same time as the TC Chair.
    • Information (name, affiliation, and email address) on the Awards Subcommittee members (including the Awards Subcommittee Chair) and their terms shall be posted on the TC web page.
    • All Awards Subcommittee members must formally declare any conflict of interest with a nomination and recuse themselves.
  • The nomination shall be solicited by the Awards Subcommittee Chair at TC meetings or via the TC mailing list.

Selection Process

Each award has its selection process. The selection criteria shall be established by the Chair of the Awards Subcommittee and discussed by the Chair and members of the Awards Subcommittee members. The Awards Subcommittee deliberations for each award, and all documents submitted to or created by the Awards Subcommittee shall stay strictly confidential. Only the final award recipients shall be openly announced. If the Awards Subcommittee considers that no candidate fulfills the established criteria, no award will be issued regardless of the call for nomination. In case of a real or perceived conflict of interest, the Awards Subcommittee member shall not participate in the selection of award recipients.


The Chair of the Awards Subcommittee shall prepare an Awards Selection Report containing the following information for each award:

  • the process conducted to select the award recipient,
  • the names of all candidates for the award,
  • the name of the recipient of the award and associated justification.

The TC Chair shall send the Awards Selection Report to the Technical Committees Director for approval. The Technical Committees Director shall approve the Awards Selection Report within two weeks of receipt. If the Director does not approve the report, the TC Chair shall be contacted to discuss the issues raised. A revised report may be submitted to the Director for approval. If the outstanding issues are not resolved between the Director and the TC Chair, the VP-TEA shall bring the matter to the TEA-C for a final decision. Once the Awards Selection Report has been approved, and only then, the final award recipients may be announced.


Any officer shall propose an expense when he or she thinks that the TC needs a budget to accomplish its mission. The proposal should contain sufficient details about the activity for which funds are sought and justification for funds being requested. If the proposal was seconded, then the TC Chair solicits discussions among TC members. Such discussion can also be carried out via the TC’s email list. If there is no objection, the proposal will pass the TC discussions. If there is any objection, TC active members vote and a simple majority is adopted as a policy of decision. If the TC agrees to the proposal, it will be submitted to the VP-TEA for his/her approval. If approved, the funds will be used in accord with ComSoc procedures. The Secretary of the TC will maintain a record of expenses. Invoices are sent to the VP-TEA for approval, and then to ComSoc headquarters for payment or reimbursement.

The annual budget awarded by the IEEE ComSoc may be spent on dissemination activities (e.g., maintenance of web page, newsletter), awards, showing appreciation for volunteer support, other tasks deemed useful to TC activities, support of ComSoc activities (e.g., publications, meetings and conferences educational services, and membership development), and buying small gifts (e.g., T-shirts, pens) that contain TC logo for TC members.

Expenses will normally be incurred for maintaining the TC’s information infrastructure (e.g., volunteer maintenance of its web page) or showing appreciation for volunteer support. Recognition will not include awarding money, nor are TC funds to be used for travel purposes. The accounting procedure for expenses is based on the ComSoc practice. The expense report and record shall be kept by the TC secretary.

Information Dissemination

The TC will maintain an Internet web page hosted by the ComSoc IT Department. The web page shall contain information about officers and their contact information, the scope of the TC, TC P&Ps, subscription to membership, meeting agendas and meeting minutes, announcements, opportunities for membership participation in TC-sponsored activities, election-related issues. The TC will also provide at least one email exploder as an alternative for timely dissemination of information, and to welcome useful information from others.

Electronic Newsletter

The Committee shall have an electronic newsletter aimed at disseminating information of interest of the committee membership. It shall be distributed on the mailing list as well as posted on the web page. Newsletter Editors are announced through the committee mailing list and published on the committee web page.

Mailing List

The TC electronic mailing list is for discussion of a technical nature, or issues related to TC business. Anyone who does not wish to have his or her information listed on the web site may have it removed promptly. The TC mailing list is open to the following types of posts, provided they are in areas that are likely to be of interest to the TC members. Such posts may be posted without consulting the Secretary (elected office) or Web Coordinator (appointed position).

  • Technical discussions
  • Faculty, post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate student positions, and summer internships at academic institutions and government institutions
  • Call for Papers (CFPs), Request for Information (RFIs), and Request for Proposals (RFPs)
  • Discussions related to the TC mission and business

Changes to the P&P

All changes to these Technical Committee P&Ps shall be approved by the Technical Committees Board before taking effect.