Salvatore Vilella

Via Pessinetto 12, 10149 Torino (Italy) ยท

I am a PhD Student in Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Turin (Italy). My main research interests are Network Analysis, Computational Social Sciences, Complex Systems, Machine Learning and Data Science. I am currently focused on studying segregation phenomena in (social) networks and, more in general, in complex systems: I am looking at how segregation emerges and how it affects the spreading of ideas, contents, behaviours, rumours and whatever else can spread. I am a member of the ARCS group.


University of Turin

PhD in Computer Science

My PhD is focused on Complex Network Analysis, particularly on the study of network segregation and on how phenomena of simple and complex contagion are affected by the presence of segregated communities. During my PhD I am also having the chance to collaborate on many projects that are not strictly related to my main research topic, both in Academia and in the Industry. Covered topics include, but are not limited to, Natural Language Processing, Deep Neural Networks to detect emotions in texts, analysis of mobile telephony data, analysis of geo-spatial data. My advisor is Prof. Giancarlo Ruffo.

2018 - ongoing

University of Turin

Postgraduate Degree in Physics of Complex Systems

My Master Thesis consisted in an analysis of an internet traffic network, aiming at discovering correlations between the most popular online news media resources of Chile and the political polarization of the Chilean people. It included the development of a learning model that tries to forecast the outcome of the Presidential Elections based on the socio-demographic attributes of the voters.

2015 - 2018

University of Salento

Undergraduate Degree in Physics

My Bachelor Thesis consisted in an analysis of a theoretical framework for epidemiology studies using cellular automata and compartmental models (SI, SIR, SIS, SIRS etc.).

2010 - 2015


University of Turin

Research Scholarship

During my PhD I am also involved in a project, led by Prof. Viviana Patti, whose goal is to develop a tool for the Italian National TV RAI that automatically detects emotions expressed by the users posting on RAI's social media feed.

2019 - 2020

Universidad del Desarrollo (Santiago de Chile)

Visiting Scholar

Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Data Science of Universidad del Desarrollo (SCL), under the supervision of Prof. Leo Ferres. I was lucky enough to visit twice, in 2019 and 2020.

2019 - 2020

ISI Foundation

Junior Researcher

Awarded with a Lagrange Scholarship to work as a Junior researcher at ISI Foundation (Turin) on Data-for-Good related topics, under the supervision of Dr. Daniela Paolotti.

2018 - 2019

University of Turin

Research Scholarship

Research Scholar at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Turin, under the supervision of Prof. Giancarlo Ruffo, in the area of Complex Network Analysis and Computational Social Sciences.



Academic Year 2020/2021
  • Assistant Lecturer
  • SUISS - LM in Scienze Strategiche e Militari
  • Basi di dati (Relational Databases and SQL)

Academic Year 2019/2020

Academic Year 2018/2019


  1. Semeraro Alfonso, Vilella Salvatore, Ruffo Giancarlo (2021)
    PyPlutchik: Visualising and comparing emotion-annotated corpora
    Plos One 2021, Volume 16, Number 9
  2. Vilella Salvatore, Lai Mirko, Paolotti Daniela, Ruffo Giancarlo (2020)
    Immigration as a Divisive Topic: Clusters and Content Diffusion in the Italian Twitter Debate
    Future Internet 2020, 12(10), 173
  3. Vilella Salvatore, Paolotti Daniela, Ruffo Giancarlo, Ferres Leo (2020)
    News and the city: understanding online press consumption patterns through mobile data
    EPJ Data Science volume 9, Article number: 10 (2020)


Beside my research interests, I love music: I have very diverse musical preferences, from 70's Prog Rock to Jazz, from electronic/ambient to Italian songwriting, as long as it is properly played and performed (yes, I am boring). I love everything that has an engine and can be driven or flown: I am a motorsport enthusiast and I fly light airplanes when I can. I like trekking, swimming, being in the countryside, dystopic novels, travel novels and many other things you probably don't care about knowing :)