Consensus means many different things in different contexts. It has relevance in distributed systems, database design, and voting algorithms. This season is an exploration of all these areas.
Sami Yousif joins us to discuss the paper The Illusion of Consensus: A Failure to Distinguish Between True and False Consensus. This work empirically explores how individuals evaluate consensus under different experimental conditions reviewing online news articles.
Computer Science research fellow of Cambridge University, Heidi Howard discusses Paxos, Raft, and distributed consensus in distributed systems alongside with her work “Paxos vs. Raft: Have we reached consensus on distributed consensus?”
Clement Fung, a Societal Computing PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses his research in security of machine learning systems and a defense against targeted sybil-based poisoning called FoolsGold.
Niclas Boehmer, second year PhD student at Berlin Institute of Technology, comes on today to discuss the computational complexity of bribery in elections through the paper “On the Robustness of Winners: Counting Briberies in Elections.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the public (or at least those with Twitter accounts) are sharing their personal opinions about mask-wearing via Twitter. What does this data tell us about public opinion? How does it vary by demographic? What, if anything, can make people change their minds?
Above all, everyone wants voting to be fair. What does fair mean and how can we measure it? Kenneth Arrow posited a simple set of conditions that one would certainly desire in a voting system. For example, unanimity - if everyone picks candidate A, then A should win!
Kyle shared some initial reactions to the announcement about Alpha Fold 2's celebrated performance in the CASP14 prediction. By many accounts, this exciting result means protein folding is now a solved problem.
Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) is a desirable property in a distributed computing environment. BFT means the system can survive the loss of nodes and nodes becoming unreliable. There are many different protocols for achieving BFT, though not all options can scale to large network sizes.
Have you ever wanted to hear what an earthquake sounds like? Today on the show we have Omkar Ranadive, Computer Science Masters student at NorthWestern University, who collaborates with Suzan van der Lee, an Earth and Planetary Sciences professor at Northwestern University, on the crowd-sourcing project Earthquake Detective.
Today on the show we have Adrian Martin, a Post-doctoral researcher from the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He comes on the show today to discuss his research from the paper “Convolutional Neural Networks can be Deceived by Visual Illusions.”
Works Mentioned in Paper:
“Convolutional Neural Networks can be Decieved by Visual Illusions.” by Alexander Gomez-Villa, Adrian Martin, Javier Vazquez-Corral, and Marcelo Bertalmio
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Aside from victory questions like “can black force a checkmate on white in 5 moves?” many novel questions can be asked about a game of chess. Some questions are trivial (e.g. “How many pieces does white have?") while more computationally challenging questions can contribute interesting results in computational complexity theory.
Brian Brubach, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Wellesley College, joins us today to discuss his work “Meddling Metrics: the Effects of Measuring and Constraining Partisan Gerrymandering on Voter Incentives".
Maartje ter Hoeve, PhD Student at the University of Amsterdam, joins us today to discuss her research in automated summarization through the paper “What Makes a Good Summary? Reconsidering the Focus of Automatic Summarization.”
Balaji Arun, a PhD Student in the Systems of Software Research Group at Virginia Tech, joins us today to discuss his research of distributed systems through the paper “Taming the Contention in Consensus-based Distributed Systems.”
Mikko Lauri, Post Doctoral researcher at the University of Hamburg, Germany, comes on the show today to discuss the work Information Gathering in Decentralized POMDPs by Policy Graph Improvements.
Nirupam Gupta, a Computer Science Post Doctoral Researcher at EDFL University in Switzerland, joins us today to discuss his work “Byzantine Fault-Tolerance in Peer-to-Peer Distributed Gradient-Descent.”