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Sounds like an optimistic grant proposal, but with clearly SNA
 Barry Wellman

  S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC              NetLab Director
  Centre for Urban & Community Studies           University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue          Room 418          Toronto Canada M5S 2G8            fax:+1-416-978-7162
  Updating history:
         Elvis wouldn't be singing "Return to Sender" these days

"From Ranking Blogs to Predicting Posture"
MSNBC (01/28/08); Nelson, Bryn

Carnegie Mellon University researchers led by professor Carlos Guestrin
are working to improve how scientists monitor everything, from algal
blooms in lakes, to subtle differences in how someone sits, to detecting
contamination in a city water system, to which blogs provide the most
useful information.  The researchers have created Cascades, an algorithm
that could lead to dramatically improved sensor networks by combining the
scientific study of how information, influence, or physical items move
through networks with how to optimally detect the flow in a cost-effective
way.  Guestrin was initially inspired by a collaborative project with
civil engineers trying to determine where to place a limited number of
sensors in water pipes to detect contamination as quickly as possible.
The success of the project led Guestrin to think about how the central
idea could be adapted to other applications, such as how information
spreads across the Internet.  "Somebody places a story and s
 ome people link to the story, and some people link to the links, and so
on," he says.  "You can think of it as a cascade of information."  To find
the big story as quickly as possible, the researchers created Cascades.
Part of Cascades seeks to maximize reward, or detecting the most news in
the least amount of time, while a second part seeks to minimize cost, such
as the time spent reading blogs.  The algorithm also factors in the law of
diminishing returns.

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