Optimal resource allocation in social and critical infrastructure networks

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We live in a networked world with a multitude of networks, such as communication networks, electric power grid, transportation networks and water distribution networks, all around us. In addition to

We live in a networked world with a multitude of networks, such as communication networks, electric power grid, transportation networks and water distribution networks, all around us. In addition to such physical (infrastructure) networks, recent years have seen tremendous proliferation of social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and others. These powerful social networks are not only used for harnessing revenue from the infrastructure networks, but are also increasingly being used as “non-conventional sensors” for monitoring the infrastructure networks. Accordingly, nowadays, analyses of social and infrastructure networks go hand-in-hand. This dissertation studies resource allocation problems encountered in this set of diverse, heterogeneous, and interdependent networks. Three problems studied in this dissertation are encountered in the physical network domain while the three other problems studied are encountered in the social network domain.

The first problem from the infrastructure network domain relates to distributed files storage scheme with a goal of enhancing robustness of data storage by making it tolerant against large scale geographically-correlated failures. The second problem relates to placement of relay nodes in a deployment area with multiple sensor nodes with a goal of augmenting connectivity of the resulting network, while staying within the budget specifying the maximum number of relay nodes that can be deployed. The third problem studied in this dissertation relates to complex interdependencies that exist between infrastructure networks, such as power grid and communication network. The progressive recovery problem in an interdependent network is studied whose goal is to maximize system utility over the time when recovery process of failed entities takes place in a sequential manner.

The three problems studied from the social network domain relate to influence propagation in adversarial environment and political sentiment assessment in various states in a country with a goal of creation of a “political heat map” of the country. In the first problem of the influence propagation domain, the goal of the second player is to restrict the influence of the first player, while in the second problem the goal of the second player is to have a larger market share with least amount of initial investment.