New ways to approach contagion spreading and node ranking

Applied and Computational Mathematics Seminar
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 2:00pm
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 005
University of Michigan
In this talk, I will present work on two very different problems, with the only common theme being a substantial departure from standard approaches.  In the first part, I will discuss how the spread of many common contagions may be more accurately modeled with nonlocal approaches than with the current standard of local approaches, and I will provide a minimal mathematical foundation showing how this can be done.  In the second part, I will present a new computational method for ranking items given only a set of pairwise preferences between them.  (This is known as the minimum feedback arc set problem in computer science.)  For a broad range of cases, this method appears to beat the current "world record" in both run time and quality of solution.