ICES Distinguished Lecturer: Jon Kleinberg/Cornell University: "Information Flow and Anonymization in Social Networks" ACES 2.302, Thursday, February 19, 2009 3:30 p.m.
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Type of Talk:
ICES Distinguished Lecturer
Speaker/Affiliation: Jon Kleinberg
Date/Time: Thursday, February 19, 2009&n
bsp; 3:30 p.m.
Location: ACES 2.302
"Information Flow and Anonymization in Social Networks"
The growth of on-line information systems supporting ri
ch forms of social interaction has made it possible to study social network
data at unprecedented levels of scale and temporal resolution. This
offers an opportunity to address questions at the interface between comput
ing and the social sciences, where mathematical models and algorithmic sty
les of thinking can help in formulating models of social processes and in m
anaging complex networks as datasets.
We consider two lines of r
esearch within this general theme. The first is concerned with model
ing the flow of information through a large network: the spread of new idea
s, technologies, opinions, fads, and rumors can be viewed as unfolding
with the dynamics of epidemic, cascading from one individual to another th
rough the network. This suggests a basis for models of such phenomen
a, as well as new kinds of open questions.
The second line of r
esearch we consider is concerned with the privacy implications of large net
work datasets. An increasing amount of social network research focus
es on datasets obtained by measuring the interactions among individuals who
have strong expectations of privacy. To preserve privacy in such in
stances, the datasets are typically anonymized -- the names are replaced w
ith meaningless unique identifiers, so that the network structure is maint
ained while private information has been suppressed. Unfortunately,
there are fundamental limitations on the power of network anonymization to
preserve privacy; we will discuss some of these limitations and some of t
heir broader implications.
This talk is based on joint work with
Lars Backstrom, Cynthia Dwork, and David Liben-Nowell.
Jon Kleinberg is a professor of computer science at Cornell Univer
sity. His research focuses on issues at the interface of networks and infor
mation, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that under
pin the Web and other online media. His work has been supported by an NSF C
areer Award, an ONR Young Investigator Award, a MacArthur Foundation Fell
owship, a Packard Foundation Fellowship, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship,
as well as grants from Google, Yahoo!, and the NSF. Professor Kelinberg i
s a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences.
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