Crowdsourcing Change: The Role of Computing in Tackling Major


January 29, 2013


Many of the pressing challenges facing contemporary society concern sustainability and public health. For example, how can sustainable behaviors—such as reducing individual energy consumption—be encouraged? How can participation in activities that reduce overall healthcare costs—such as compliance with preventive care routines and leading healthy lifestyles—be supported? Common to these challenges is a fundamental question: how can we facilitate cooperative behavior adoption on a large scale?

The conditions for self-governance found in small groups do not apply in large populations. As a result, the question of how cooperation can be facilitated in large populations remains unanswered and is the focus of my work. In this talk, I shall discuss the computational tools needed to engender cooperation in heterogenous populations. The first step towards facilitating cooperative behavior adoption within large heterogeneous populations is to unite similar individuals within the population into small homogenous groups or communities. I shall present our work on discovering homogenous groups and discuss compressed sensing techniques to analyze large scale network changes. I shall briefly touch upon open questions on the social cooperative capacity of a group, and design of signaling schemes to increase cooperation.


Hari Sundaram

Hari Sundaram is an associate professor with the School of Arts Media and Engineering, as well with the School of Computing, Information and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University in 2002. His research and teaching focus on using network analysis tools and sensors to understand and influence individual decision making. His research has won several best paper awards from the IEEE and the ACM. He also received the Eliahu I. Jury Award for best Ph.D. dissertation in 2002. He is an associate editor for ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications and IEEE Multimedia.