Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fragile Networks Tutorial at NIH -- Good Timing!

Next Monday, Dr. Patrick Qiang and I will be giving a tutorial on Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. This tutorial will take place immediately preceding the 2010 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction at NIH. Our tutorial is one of 4 invited ones.

Dr. Qiang and I have been hard at work preparing our tutorial which is organized into three different modules:

Module I - Network Fundamentals, Efficiency Measurement, and Vulnerability Analysis explores the theoretical and practical foundations for a new network efficiency measure in order to assess the importance of network components in various network systems. Methodologies for distinct decision-making behaviors are outlined, along with the tools for qualitative analysis, the algorithms for the computation of solutions, and a thorough discussion of the unified network efficient measure and network robustness with the unified measure.

Module II - Applications and Extensions examines the efficiency changes and the associated cost increments after network components are eliminated or partially damaged. A discussion of the recently established connections between transportation networks and different critical networks is provided, which demonstrates how the new network measures and robustness indices can be applied to different supply chain, financial, and dynamic networks, including the Internet and electric power networks.

Module III - Mergers and Acquisitions, Network Integration, and Synergies reveals the connections between transportation networks and different network systems and quantifies the synergies associated with the network systems, from total cost reduction to environmental impact assessment. In the case of mergers and acquisitions, the focus is on supply chain networks. A system-optimization perspective for supply chain networks will be presented. Also, we will formalize coalition formation using game theory with insights into the merger paradox. Applications to humanitarian logistics operations will also be presented.

The tutorial is based on our book by the same name.

This tutorial is well-timed given the growing interest in network vulnerability and robustness as reported in this article in The New York Times, which highlights the ramifications of a recent scientific article published in the journal Safety Science.