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Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Rutgers University New Brunswick
  • Min Xu
  • (848) 445-7611
Award Date:06/11/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 199,999
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 66,024
  • FY 2021=$66,024
Start Date:07/01/2021
End Date:06/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Inferring the Past on Markovian Models of Networks
Federal Award ID Number:2113671
DUNS ID:001912864
Parent DUNS ID:001912864
Program Officer:
  • Yong Zeng
  • (703) 292-7902

Awardee Location

Street:33 Knightsbridge Road
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Rutgers University New Brunswick
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

A major challenge in statistics and data science is the analysis of network data. Network data describe interactions and relationships between individual entities. The most prominent example is social network data, but other important examples include internet hyperlink networks, protein interaction networks, air route networks between cities, and disease transmission networks between people. These interaction networks generally start with a few individuals and, as time goes on, they attract, infect, or recruit more members and create more interactions. The goal of this project is to develop probabilistic models that accurately describe the growth process of real-world networks and to use these models to extract important information from large scale network data. Algorithms and software packages will be developed that enable users to answer questions such as, which individuals were the earliest members of a social network, or does the network contain one growing community or multiple? The results of this project will have applications in public health, social science, computer science, and national security. The project also provides research training opportunities for graduate students. The framework developed by the PI models a random network as a combination of a preferential attachment (PA) tree and Erdos-Renyi (ER) random edges. The PA tree describes the growth process of a network and may be regarded as the signal and the ER random edges can be interpreted as the noise. This framework includes many existing network models as special cases and allows practitioners to trade-off model complexity and computational complexity. Scalable methodology based on Gibbs sampling will be developed to tackle inference problems such as constructing confidence sets for the root nodes or inferring the community membership of the nodes of a network. Theoretical analysis, based on existing probabilistic properties of preferential attachment models, will also be conducted to assess the quality of statistical inference as a function of the signal-to-noise ratio and to understand the information limits of these problems. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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