Talk 1

Title: Anomalous role of information diffusion in epidemic spreading

Speaker: Ze Kang


Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) constitutes a class of computational methods rooted in Bayesian statistics. In all model-based statistical inference, the likelihood function is of central importance, since it expresses the probability of the observed data under a particular statistical model, and thus quantifies the support data lend to particular values of parameters and to choices among different models. For simple models, an analytical formula for the likelihood function can typically be derived. However, for more complex models, an analytical formula might be elusive or the likelihood function might be computationally very costly to evalu- ate. ABC methods bypass the evaluation of the likelihood function. In this way, ABC methods widen the realm of models for which statistical inference can be considered. ABC methods are mathematically well-founded, but they inevitably make assumptions and approximations whose impact needs to be carefully assessed. Furthermore, the wider application domain of ABC exacerbates the challenges of parameter estimation and model selection. ABC has rapidly gained popularity over the last years and in particular for the analysis of complex problems arising in biological sciences (e.g., in population genetics, ecology, epidemiology, and systems biology).

Supervisor: Lifeng Shen

Talk 2

Title: Information Source Detection in the SIR Model

Speaker: Cheng Yang


This paper studies the problem of detecting the information source in a network in which the spread of information follows the popular Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) model. We assume all nodes in the network are in the susceptible state initially except the information source which is in the infected state. Susceptible nodes may then be infected by infected nodes, and infected nodes may recover and will not be infected again after recovery. Given a snapshot of the network, from which we know all infected nodes but cannot distinguish susceptible nodes and recovered nodes, the problem is to find the information source based on the snapshot and the network topology. We develop a sample path based approach where the estimator of the information source is chosen to be the root node associated with the sample path that most likely leads to the observed snapshot. We prove for infinite-trees, the estimator is a node that minimizes the maximum distance to the infected nodes. A reverse-infection algorithm is proposed to find such an estimator in general graphs. We prove that for g-regular trees such that gq > 1, where g is the node degree and q is the infection probability, the estimator is within a constant distance from the actual source with a high probability, independent of the number of infected nodes and the time the snapshot is taken. Our simulation results show that for tree networks, the estimator produced by the reverse-infection algorithm is closer to the actual source than the one identified by the closeness centrality heuristic. We then further evaluate the performance of the reverse infection algorithm on several real world networks.

Supervisor: PengCheng Li


Time:16:00  April 8, 2021

Address:MingLi Buliding C1102

Chair: PengCheng Li