Prof. Kimon Drakopoulos, University of Southern California, to speak on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 11:30

The event is organized by the Division of Signals, Control and Robotics of ECE NTUA

Lecture Title: Networks: from controlling epidemics to fighting fake news

Abstract: In the first part of this talk, we will consider the propagation of a contagion process (“epidemic”) on a network and study the problem of dynamically allocating a fixed curing budget to the nodes of the graph, at each time instant. We will provide a dynamic policy for the rapid containment of a contagion process modeled as an SIS epidemic on a bounded degree undirected graph with n nodes and establish a fairly sharp phase transition on the expected time to extinction (sublinear versus exponential) based on the relation between the CutWidth and the curing budget. We will then provide an empirical approach to identifying the strength of the network effects that determine the propagation of influenza in the United states and show the effect of network based interventions on the number of infections. In the second part we will focus on the tradeoff between user engagement and misinformation faced by an online social networking platform. The content available on the platform is possibly erroneous. Agents decide whether to engage with the content based on their direct satisfaction from engaging, the disutility from engaging with erroneous content, and the positive externality that they derive from engaging with the same content as their friends in the underlying social network. The platform knows the error associated with the content and can signal it to the agents so as to induce a desired engagement behavior. We provide a full characterization of the optimal signaling strategy and show how the dependence on the underlying network topology.

Short Biography: Kimon Drakopoulosreceived the diploma in electrical and computer engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece and the PhD degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Data Sciences and Operations at the University of Southern California. His current research interests include social network analysis, network science, applied probability, game theory, and network economics.

For more information please contact : Prof. P. Maragos (email: