Computer Science Thesis Oral

Monday, June 8, 2015 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


8102 Gates & Hillman Centers



Graphs naturally represent information ranging from links between webpages, to friendships in social networks, to connections between neurons in our brains. These graphs often span billions of nodes and interactions between them. Within this deluge of interconnected data, how can we find the most important structures and summarize them? How can we efficiently visualize them? How can we detect anomalies that indicate critical events, such as an attack in a computer system, a disease formation, or the fall of a company? To gain insights into these problems, this thesis focuses on developing scalable, principled discovery algorithms to make sense of one or more graphs. In addition to our fast algorithmic methodologies, we also contribute graph-theoretical ideas and models, and real-world applications in two main areas:  •Single-Graph Exploration: We show how to interpretably summarize a single graph by identifying its important graph structures. We complement summarization with inference, which leverages information about few entities (obtained via summarization or other methods) and the network structure to efficiently and effectively learn information about the unknown entities. •Multiple-Graph Exploration: We extend the idea of single-graph summarization to time-evolving graphs, and show how to scalably discover temporal patterns. Apart from summarization, we claim that graph similarity is often the underlying problem in a host of applications where multiple graphs occur (e.g., temporal anomaly detection, discovery of behavioral patterns), and we present principled, scalable algorithms for aligning networks and measuring their similarity. We leverage techniques from diverse areas, such as matrix algebra, graph theory, optimization, information theory, machine learning, finance, and social science, to solve real-world problems. We have applied our exploration algorithms to massive datasets, including a Web graph of 6.6 billion edges, a Twitter graph of 1.8 billion edges, brain graphs with up to 90 million edges, collaboration networks, all spanning millions of users and interactions. Thesis Committee:Christos Faloutsos (Chair) William Cohen Roni Rosenfeld Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research)

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Thesis Oral