CFCS Invited Talks

Personalized PageRank Matrices: Structures and Algorithmic Implications

  • Prof. Shang-Hua Teng, University of Southern California
  • Time: 2018-05-24 17:00
  • Host: Prof. Xiaotie Deng
  • Venue: Room 101, Courtyard No.5, Jingyuan


In this (blackboard) talk, I will discuss some basic algebraic properties of personalized PageRank matrices, formulated by a family of Markov processes over graphs. I will focus on their applications to two fundamental concepts in network analysis: centrality and clusterability. I will also discuss several efficient algorithms for and based on personalized PageRank.


Dr. Shang-Hua Teng has twice won the prestigious Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science, first in 2008, for developing the theory of smoothed analysis , and then in 2015, for designing the groundbreaking nearly-linear time Laplacian solver for network systems. Both are joint work with Dan Spielman of Yale --- his long-time collaborator. Smoothed analysis is fundamental for modeling and analyzing practical algorithms, and the Laplacian paradigm has since led to several breakthroughs in network analysis, matrix computation, and optimization. Citing him as, "one of the most original theoretical computer scientists in the world", the Simons Foundation named Teng a 2014 Simons Investigator, for pursuing long-term curiosity-driven fundamental research. He and his collaborators also received the best paper award at ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC) for what's considered to be the "first improvement in 10 years" of a fundamental optimization problem --- the computation of maximum flows and minimum cuts in a network. In addition, he is known for his joint work with Xi Chen and Xiaotie Deng that characterized the complexity for computing an approximate Nash equilibrium in game theory, and his joint papers on market equilibria in computational economics. He and his collaborators also pioneered the development of well-shaped Dalaunay meshing algorithms for arbitrary three-dimensional geometric domains, which settled a long-term open problem in numerical simulation, also a fundamental problem in computer graphics. Software based on this development was used at the University of Illinois for the simulation of advanced rockets. Teng is also interested in mathematical board games. With his former Ph.D. student Kyle Burke, he designed and analyzed a game called Atropos , which is played on the Sperner's triangle and based on the beautiful, celebrated Sperner's Lemma. In 2000 at UIUC, Teng was named on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for his class, "Network Security and Cryptography". He has worked and consulted for Microsoft Research, Akamai, IBM Almaden Research Center, Intel Corporation, Xerox PARC, and NASA Ames Research Center, for which he received fifteen patents for his work on compiler optimization, Internet technology, and social network.