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The Risk and Opportunity Management of Huge-scale Business Communities, or in short ROBUST, is an ambitious research project aiming to combine community analysis, community forecasting and risk management in order to monitor both the community host and the community member’s objectives in the community. ROBUST aims to go beyond the operational aspects of the community and proposes a set of novel models and metrics able to capture the value generation inside the community.

ROBUST is a European Commission funded FP7 project that brings together a diverse consortium formed of top level universities and research institutes (University of Koblenz-Landau, national University of Ireland Galway, University of Southampton, Technical University of Berlin, and Open University) as well as key industrial players in the area of community analysis and business intelligence (SAP, IBM Israel, TEMIS S.A., Software Mind SA, and MeaningMine Ltd). The project has started in October 2010 and at the end of this month is reaching an important milestone by delivering a first integrated version of the ROBUST platform, algorithms and client applications prototypes. 

SAP participates in this project with a team from SAP Research (from the former BI practice, now the Real Time Intelligence program) and brings the SAP Community Network (SCN) as a use case in the project. In this context, we have developed PULSAR – Pulse Check Application for Online Communities as a demonstrator on top of SCN for the ROBUST approach. PULSAR targets community managers and forum moderators by providing a dashboard-like view on top of SCN data. The dashboard captures various aspects of the community including network structure analysis, activity and behavior analysis, text analysis, risk and opportunities assessment, etc.

By using PULSAR, forum moderators for example, could have a better overview of the activities in their forums/spaces and get themselves more effectively involved in the discussion moderation. Statistics over various operational metrics such as the number of contributors per forum/space, answered threads, contributors’ points, etc., are graphically visualized and allows the user to focus their analysis on the aspects of interest. PULSAR also taps into the user generated content and suggests further community groups and relationships, not only based on members’ interactions but also based on their expertise and on the topics they are discussing. All these, together with various other operational metrics (e.g. the number of contributors per forum/space, answered threads, contributors’ points, etc.) are visualized by using a range of charts, graph visualization.

ROBUST will be running for one more year until the end of October 2013. In the remaining time of the project we will invest our time in the end user evaluation and consolidation of our software artifacts as well as on exploring various exploitation paths that would bring ROBUST results on the market.

Further ROBUST Resources:

ROBUST Public Web Site:
ROBUST YouTube Video:
PULSAR material (SAP internal):


Adrian Mocan (