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Invited Seminar by IEEE Philadelphia Section – Ali Jadbabaie, University of Pennsylvania, “Collective Phenomena in Complex Networks”

March 30, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Registration Link: https://meetings.vtools.ieee.org/m/38534


In this talk, I will present a high-level overview of my research in the past decade on collective behavior in networked, social, and engineering systems. These collective phenomena include social aggregation in animals such as schooling, herding, and flocking, and more broadly emergence of consensus, swarming, and synchronization in complex network of interacting dynamic systems.  A common underlying theme in this line of study is to understand how a desired global behavior such as consensus, synchronization or a particular formation can emerge from purely local interactions. The evolution of these ideas into social systems has led to a new theory of collective decision making among strategic agents. Examples include participation decisions in uprisings, social cascades and investment decisions in infrastructure.  I will  investigate distributed strategies for information aggregation, social learning and detection problems in networked systems where heterogeneous agents with different observations (with varying quality and precision) coordinate to learn a true state (e.g., finding aggregate statistics or  detecting faults and failure modes in spatially distributed wireless sensor networks, or deciding suitability of a political candidate, quality of a product and forming opinions on social issues of the day in social networks) using a stream of private observations and  interaction with neighboring agents.  I will end the talk with a description of contagion phenomena in networked systems and a new vision for graduate education at the interface of information and decision systems, data science and social sciences.


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Ali Jadbabaie is the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Network Science in the department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). He holds secondary appointments in the departments of Computer and Information Science (CIS) in Penn Engineering, and Operations, Information, and Decisions (OID) in the Wharton School. A faculty member in Penn’s (GRASP) Lab, he is also the co-founder and director of the Raj and Neera Singh Program in Networked & Social Systems (NETS) at Penn Engineering. NETS is a new undergraduate interdisciplinary degree program focused on network science and engineering, operations research, social phenomena and social and technological networks. From January to October 2015, Ali was on sabbatical at LIDS at MIT. From October 2015 to January 2016, he took a leave from Penn to lead the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center at MIT as its interim director. During this period, he served as the Associate Director of MIT’s newly formed Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS), where he helped create a newly-approved PhD program in Social and Engineering Systems and shaped the intellectual agenda of the newly formed Institute. Ali received his B.S. with High Honors from Sharif University of Technology, his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and his Ph.D. in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He was a postdoctoral scholar at Yale University for a year before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) in July 2002. Aside from GRASP Lab and the NETS program, Ali is also a faculty member of The Warren Center for Network & Data Sciences at Penn and a faculty affiliate of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at Penn Law School. Ali is the inaugural editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, a new interdisciplinary journal sponsored by 5 IEEE Societies, an Associate Editor of the INFORMS journal Operations Research and a former Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems. He is a recipient of a Career Award from NSF, an ONR Young Investigator Award, the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award of the American Automatic Control Council, and the George S. Axelby Best Paper Award of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He is also an IEEE Fellow. He has graduated 10 PhD students, and has served as mentor of 5 postdoctoral scholars who have become research leaders both in industry and academia. His current research interests include decision and control theory with a focus on distributed optimization and control, collective behavior, network science, and the study of collective behavior in engineering systems and social and economic networks.


March 30, 2016
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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