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Events for September 09, 2019

  • Fall 2019 Joint CSC@USC/CommNetS-MHI Seminar Series

    Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Kimon Drakopoulos, University of Southern California

    Talk Title: Misinformation in platforms: Persuasion and inundation

    Abstract: In the first part of the talk, we study information design in social networks. We consider a setting, where agents actions exhibit positive local network externalities. There is uncertainty about the underlying state of the world, which impacts agents payoffs. The platform can choose a signaling mechanism that sends informative signals to agents upon realization of this uncertainty, thereby influencing their actions. We investigate how the platform should design its signaling mechanism to achieve a desired outcome.. We find that in the case where the platform seeks only to minimize misinformation (regardless of the induced engagement), common threshold mechanisms with identical thresholds across agents are optimal. This is in contrast to the engagement maximization setting, where when agents are heterogeneous in terms of their network positions, common threshold mechanisms induce substantially lower engagement than the optimal mechanisms. We also study the frontier of the engagement/misinformation levels that can be achieved via different mechanisms and characterize when common threshold mechanisms achieve optimal tradeoffs.

    In the second part of the talk, we study a model of information consumption where consumers sequentially interact with a platform that offers a menu of signals (posts) about an underlying state of the world (fact). At each time, incapable of consuming all posts, consumers screen the posts and only select (and consume) one from the offered menu. We show that in the presence of uncertainty about the accuracy of these posts, and as the number of posts increases, adverse effects such as slow learning and polarization arise. Specifically, we establish that, in this setting, bias emerges as a consequence of the consumer screening process. Namely, consumers, in their quest to choose the post that reduces their uncertainty about the state of the world, choose to consume the post that is closest to their own beliefs. We study the evolution of beliefs and we show that such a screening bias slows down the learning process, and the speed of learning decreases with the menu size. Further, we show that the society becomes polarized during the prolonged learning process even in situations where the society belief distribution was not a priori polarized.

    Biography: Kimon Drakopoulos is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. His research focuses on the operations of complex networked systems, social networks, stochastic modeling, game theory and information economics. Kimon, prior to joining USC, completed his PhD at the Laboratory for Information and Decision systems at MIT focusing on the analysis and control of contagion processes on networks.

    Host: Ketan Savla, ksavla@usc.edu

    More Info: http://csc.usc.edu/seminars/2019Fall/drakopoulos.html

    More Information: 190905 Kimon Drakopoulos CSCUSC Seminar.pdf

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • Viterbi Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) Info Session

    Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Workshops & Infosessions


    USC Viterbi School of Engineering students have the unique opportunity to compete in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP). Grand Challenge Scholars drive their educational experiences towards discovering, exploring, and potentially solving one of the NAE Grand Challenges and earn recognition at graduation from USC and the National Academy of Engineering. Learn about the Grand Challenges Program at USC and how to apply at our upcoming info session.

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 211

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Myra Fernandez

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  • Integrating Blockchain & Big Data

    Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Wyatt Meldman-Floch, Constellation Labs

    Talk Title: Integrating Blockchain & Big Data

    Abstract: The main limitation to traditional linear blockchain technology is scalability. Most approaches to scalability improvements utilize L2 solutions such as sharding or partitioning. However, a limitation of these L2 approaches is a lack of resilience to node failures due to the stateful nature of blockchain protocols. Backend systems that can dynamically adapt to changes in throughput or outright resource failure are know as elastic infrastructure, which are a core feature of most tools for large scale data processing. In order to achieve native integration with traditional backend systems, stateful P2P networks need elastic infrastructure. MEME, an online machine learning model created at Constellation Labs was created to address elasticity in stateful peer to peer networks such as blockchain protocols and cryptocurrencies associated to them. MEME is an ensamble model comprised of three known approaches to quantify performance and influence of a participant in P2P networks that can be incorporated with any proof model such as proof of work (PoW), proof of stake (PoS) or proof of reputable observation (PRO). The focus of this presentation is on elastic infrastructure and MEME, an approach for maintaining elasticity in blockchain/DAG clusters created and used by Constellation Labs.


    Biography: Wyatt is the CTO and cofounder of Constellation Labs, where he developed an asynchronous DAG protocol to powering a decentralized data marketplace. He is a software engineer based in San Francisco with over six years of professional experience specializing in distributed systems and machine learning. Wyatt's career began at NASAs SETI Institute where he contributed to the Kepler project and implemented an entropy-based algorithm to detect intelligent (alien) communication. Prior to cofounding Constellation Labs, he served as a software engineer for Rally Health, Radius Intelligence and Zignal Labs, where he built scalable data processing pipelines for data mining, distributed graph based NLP models, and stream processing platforms for data enrichment at the Twitter firehose at scale.


    Host: Bhaskar Krishnamachari, CCI

    More Info: https://www.meetup.com/Hyperledger-Los-Angeles/events/264393286/

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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