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The automatic analysis of social interactions is attracting significant interest in the multimedia community. This work addresses one of the most important aspects of the problem, namely the recognition of roles in social exchanges. The proposed approach is based on Social Network Analysis, for the representation of individuals in terms of their interactions with others, and probabilistic sequential models, for the recognition of role sequences underlying the sequence of speakers in conversations. The experiments are performed over different kinds of data (around 90 hours of broadcast data and meetings), and show that the performance depends on how formal the roles are, i.e. on how much they constrain people behavior.