ECE Colloquium: Signal Processing for the Social Sensing Modality

March 19, 2018 - 15:30 - 17:00

Speaker: Tarek Abdelzaher
Host: Sathish Gopalakrishnan
Location: Kaiser 2020/2030, snacks and drinks provided

Abstract - In the last decade, social networks emerged as a new
information dissemination medium that reports events in the physical
world. This talk draws an analogy between physical sensing modalities,
such as acoustic sensing, magnetic sensing, and seismic sensing on the
one hand, and the social sensing modality on the other. Much the way
physical targets cause signal propagation through a physical medium,
world events cause information propagation on the social medium.
Modeling such propagation allows one to reconstruct the events that
caused it in the first place. We call such reconstruction, social
sensing. The talk describes signal processing techniques for the social
sensing modality and reviews experiences using social sensing for event
detection, demultiplexing, tracking, and veracity analysis using data
from Twitter and Instagram. Presented results suggest the viability of
language agnostic solutions to social sensing problems making the
approach ideal to multilingual media.

Speaker's biography - Tarek Abdelzaher received his B.Sc. and M.Sc.
degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Ain Shams
University, Cairo, Egypt, in 1990 and 1994 respectively. He received his
Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1999 on Quality of Service
Adaptation in Real-Time Systems. He has been an Assistant Professor at
the University of Virginia, where he founded the Software Predictability
Group. He is currently a Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar at the
Department of Computer Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana
Champaign. He has authored/coauthored more than 200 refereed
publications in real-time computing, distributed systems, sensor
networks, and control. He is an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of
Real-Time Systems, and has served as Associate Editor of the IEEE
Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and
Distributed Systems, IEEE Embedded Systems Letters, the ACM Transaction
on Sensor Networks, and the Ad Hoc Networks Journal. He chaired (as
Program or General Chair) several conferences in his area including
RTAS, RTSS, IPSN, Sensys, DCoSS, ICDCS, and ICAC. Abdelzaher’s research
interests lie broadly in understanding and influencing performance and
temporal properties of networked embedded, social and software systems
in the face of increasing complexity, distribution, and degree of
interaction with an external physical environment. Tarek Abdelzaher is a
recipient of the IEEE Outstanding Technical Achievement and Leadership
Award in Real-time Systems (2012), the Xerox Award for Faculty Research
(2011), as well as several best paper awards. He is a member of IEEE and

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