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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Data Analytic Mechanism Design, and a Case Study

Date: 2016-02-19           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 1:30-2:30pm
Location: Holmes Hall 389
Speaker: Dah Ming Chiu, Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong

We argue that given data, from which we can identify different behaviors automatically by machine, it is possible to design mechanisms (e.g. a pricing system) that reward/penalize different behaviors identified from data, rather than based on simple/static thresholds. Our case study is about the problem of how to charge for electricity usage in a dormitory, with the goal of encouraging energy conservation. Traditional pricing rules may set static rules, e.g. if you use less than X amount of electricity, then you are considered energy saver; but if you use more than Y amount, then you are considered wasting energy. In the data analytic mechanism, who are considered "savers", "normal" and "wasters", or other categories such as "absentees", will be determined from the usage data of all users, using algorithms based on well-justified principles. We share the experience of trying to adopt this approach in the real-life case we study, and discuss potentially wider applicability of this approach.

Dah Ming Chiu received his first degree from Imperial College London and his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He worked in industry for several hitech companies of his time: Bell Labs, DEC and Sun Microsystem Labs. He returned to academia in 2002 to become a professor in the Department of Information Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He served as department chairman from 2009 to 2015.

His recent research interests include Internet content distribution, data-driven modeling and analysis of large scale systems, and network economics. He has also worked on analyzing academic social networks, and mining insights on academic research trends and evaluation methodology.  Dah Ming is an IEEE Fellow. He served as an Associate Editor for IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking from 2006 to 2011 and TPC member for many networking conferences. He was the general co-chair of ACM Sigcomm 2013 held in Hong Kong in August of 2013, with record breaking attendance.