Networked Systems Seminar

Talk #2: Friday, April 10th, 2009
DBH 6011, 11am

Joint talk with the CS Seminar

Optimization Problems in Social Networks

David Kempe

About the Talk:

A social network - the graph of relationships and interactions within a group of individuals - plays a fundamental role as a medium for the spread of information, ideas, influence, or diseases among its members. An idea or innovation will appear, and it can either die out quickly or make significant inroads into the population. Similarly, an infectious disease may either affect a large share of the population, or be confined to a small fraction.

The collective behavior of individuals and the spread of diseases in a social network have a long history of study in sociology and epidemiology. In this talk, we will investigate graph-theoretic optimization problems relating to the spread of information or diseases. Specifically, we will focus on two types of questions: influence maximization, wherein we seek to identify influential individuals to start a cascade of an innovation to maximize the expected number of eventual adopters; and infection minimization, wherein we seek to remove nodes so as to keep a given infected component small.

We will present constant factor and bicriteria algorithms for versions of these problems, and also touch on many open problems and issues regarding competition among multiple innovators.

(This talk represents joint work with Jon Kleinberg, Eva Tardos, Elliot Anshelevich, Shishir Bharathi, Ara Hayrapetyan, Martin Pal, Mahyar Salek, and Zoya Svitkina.)

About the Speaker:

David Kempe received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2003, and has been on the faculty in the computer science department at USC since the Fall of 2004, where he holds the Robert G. and Mary G. Lane Endowed Early Career Chair. His primary research interests are in computer science theory and the design and analysis of algorithms, with a particular emphasis on social networks, distributed network algorithms, and game theoretic and pricing questions. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award, the VSoE Junior Research Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, and a Sloan Fellowship.

If you would like to meet with the speaker, please contact Athina Markopoulou at athina-at-uci-dot-edu.