Congressional Briefing Examines Threats & Vulnerabilities of Interconnected Systems

On June 13, 2019, the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) held a joint Congressional briefing entitled "Addressing Threats and Vulnerabilities in Critical Interconnected Systems: Common Principles in Disease Outbreaks, Internet Malware, and Bank Failures." This Capitol Hill briefing was given by Dr. Jon M. Kleinberg, Cornell University.

Kleinberg explained to Congressional staff and other attendees that a vital feature of many critical systems in society is their connectivity -- they are built from large numbers of components linked together in a network. This structure makes it possible to build them at large scales, but it also puts them at risk of cascading breakdowns, when a problem in one component spreads to others. We can look at mathematical models originally developed for epidemic diseases, where a small change in the connectivity of the population or the infectiousness of the disease can lead to large changes in the reach of the outbreak. We then can consider how these models apply when developing detection techniques and countermeasures for risks to highly interconnected systems, including malware on the Internet and failures in banking systems.

See Dr. Kleinberg's presentation slides here and you can read more about the briefing in this article from Cornell University.

Dr. Jon M. Kleinberg
Attendees
Attendees
Dr. Jon M. Kleinberg

   


Dr. Jon M. Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Information Science at Cornell University. His research focuses on the interaction of algorithms and networks, and the roles they play in large-scale social and information systems. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and has served on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council and the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation. He is the recipient of  the ACM Prize in Computing and the Nevanlinna Prize from the International Mathematical Union.