Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Speaking in Hawaii on Network Design

I am getting ready for the Workshop on Social Theory and Social Computing: Steps to Integration, which takes place next weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii. This workshop is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and is the brainchild of Dr. Sun-Ki Chai of the University of Hawaii.

According to the workshop website:

The rise of the internet, both as a platform for social action and a rich source of social data, has turned computer science's focus increasingly to measuring, analyzing, and predicting social phenomena. However, the level of engagement between this work and the body of existing social science work leaves much to desired. While certain social science methodologies and formalisms have been adopted widely, social networks being by far the most notable, more disconnect is more generally noticeable than dialog and integration. By bringing together a group of prominent social scientists (themselves from different disciplines), computer scientists, and engineers who are studying similar kinds of social phenomena but generally do not move in the same academic circles, we hope to kick-start this interchange of ideas and to promote further interdisciplinary collaboration.

I am so honored to be an invited speaker at this workshop and am so looking forward to the presentations and intellectual exchanges.

My presentation is on: "Network Design -- From the Physical World to Virtual Worlds."

Abstract: In this talk, I will present recent research on the design of networks from different perspectives (centralized/cooperative vs. decentralized/competitive). The approach is sufficiently general to capture the network designer's multicriteria-decision-making behavior. I will illustrate how this theoretical and computational framework can be applied to physical networks, ranging from transportation to telecommunication ones, as well as to logistical ones (including supply chains). I will also discuss issues of redesign, as well as network integration, with applications as varied as corporate mergers and acquisitions and humanitarian logistics operations.

I will then overview how networks such as social and knowledge ones can also be subject to network design (and even be integrated with physical networks) and discuss the unique challenges of network design in virtual worlds.

More information about the workshop can be found here

I have only been in Hawaii while being processed at the airport en route to/from Australia. Although I will be spending most of the time indoors at the workshop I hope to somehow absorb this state's beauty.