Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Florida International University, College of Engineering & Computing In Conjunction with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Industry Applications Society is pleased to invite you to lecture on
“Modeling and Updating Opin-ions and
Reaching a Consensus ”
by Kamal Premaratne, Ph.D. University of Miami
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Date: Oct 23, 2014
Time: 6:00 pm – 8.00 pm
Place: Engineering Centre
ECE Conference Room (EC 3753)
Soft evidence sources (i.e., human-based evidence) play a critical role in social networks and similar settings, where subjective evi-dence (e.g., opinions) is the norm. Study of opinion dynamics in these scenarios requires agent models that can capture the types of uncertainties and nuances characteristic of soft evidence (e.g., subjectivity of human-generated evidence, confidence bounds associated with such evidence). Convergence analysis becomes an extremely difficult problem in such environments because of evidence updating strategies, delays in evidence updating, and dynamic link structure (the set of ‘neighbors’ of an agent is not static). To address the corresponding challenges, we employ a Dempster-Shafer (DS) belief theoretic agent model. The consensus protocol we employ is guaranteed to generate what we refer to as a rational consensus, a notion which justifies the use of the con-sensus state to estimate the ground truth (even when it is unknown or only partially known). Its DS theoretic basis easily adapts itself to situations where agent states are captured with probability mass functions (which can be viewed as a special case of DS theoretic models). We also explore how this consensus protocol can be used to capture notions from social judgment theory (e.g., global affinity and the nature of persuasion of agents) thus leading to the formation of consensus clusters.
Kamal Premaratne received the B.Sc. degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering (with First-Class Honors) from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA, where he is presently a Professor. He has received the “Mather Premium” and the “Heaviside Premium” of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), London, UK, and the “Eliahu I. Jury Excellence in Research Award” of the College of Engineering, University of Miami. He has served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and the Journal of the Franklin Institute. He is a Fellow of IET (formerly IEE) and a Senior Member of IEEE. His research interests include belief theory, evidence fusion, machine learning and knowledge discovery from imperfect data. His current work is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR).