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Most Influential Twitter Users Revealed   In class we talked about hubs and authorities, and how to value the links between them by using Authority Update rule and Hub Update rule. This idea of hubs and authorities is connected to the idea of endorsement, which can be interpreted that a page is important or influential if it is cited […]

Percolation Theory for Flow in Porous Media

I came across percolation theory when studying battery separator materials. Linked below is a book titled “Percolation Theory for Flow in Porous Media” by Allen Hunt, Robert Ewing, and Behzad Ghanbarian. As defined by the book, “Percolation theory describes emergent properties related to the connectivity of large numbers of objects. These objects typically have some spatial extent, […]

The Curious Connection Between Apps for Gay Men and Sex Offenders   This link is an article about the “curious connection between apps for gay men and sex offenders”. The article describes how a number of men who downloaded the Grindr app, only to find an app for locating sex offenders in the “related” and “relevant” applications. Grindr is an app which describes itself as […]

Information Mirages in Debt and Equity Markets

An interest in herding experiments is what presumably led a 2014 blogger to Anderson and Holt’s Information Cascade Experiments article. In the article, Anderson and Holt give a description of their blue-red urn experiment that can be found in chapter 16 of Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg. After […]

Weakness of PageRank

Since the algorithm for PageRank is something made public, I wondered whether it may be possible for spammers to create specific pages with the sole intention of ranking highly without high quality content just to get more hits (for increased ad revenue probably). After a quick search, it turns out that this indeed is the […]

New Algorithm Ranks Sports Teams like Google’s PageRank After learning about how PageRank works, I was curious about how ideas originating from the algorithm could be applied in other contexts. The above link describes a variant of the PageRank algorithm, which the article calls the “Power Rank” algorithm. The purpose of the algorithm is to rank sports teams (in this case, NFL […]

Power in the Twitter social network

Whenever there is a network, there are bound to be nodes in that network which have more power than others. This power is attained through their position in the network. This position is not simply a matter of how many links are connected to the node; the power a node has in a network is […]

The LA Metro, Networks, and Non-Technical Applications The LA Metro wants to start a new transportation service that is based on algorithms, and in its essence, networks.  Traditional means of transportation have become outdated, and the LA Metro struggles to compete with companies such as Uber and Lyft.  In a state like California specifically, there is great wealth disparity and simple […]

PageRank applied to Soccer Teams The PageRank algorithm we learned in class is employed by Google to determine which websites have the highest importance and thus should be featured closer to the top of Google search results. Google determines the importance by counting the links to a website and taking into account the importance of the of the sites […]

The Overbooking Game When I was younger, I was always baffled at how airlines overbooked flights. I just couldn’t understand why they would sell seats that they simply did not have. The policy has led to violence and outrage, so why does it exist? I now see the policy as an overbooking game. Before diving into this […]

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