Northwestern Events Calendar


WED@NICO WEBINAR: Maksim Kitsak, Delft University of Technology

Maksim Kitsak

When: Wednesday, January 20, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Meghan Stagl   847.491.2527

Group: Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings



Maksim Kitsak, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Delft University of Technology


Geometric Representations of Complementarity-Driven Networks


Similarity is one of the key principles underlying the formation of social networks: the more similar individuals are the higher is the chance for a social interaction between them. Latent geometry provides an elegant way to model similarity in social networks. Network nodes are viewed as points in underlying latent or hidden space, such that distances between them quantify node similarities: the smaller the distance between the two nodes the more similar they are. It is the similarity interpretation of latent distances that lies at the origin of many applications of network embeddings, including link prediction, soft community detection and clustering, network navigation, and search.

In my talk, however, I will focus on another class of networks that are shaped not only by similarity but also by the complementarity principle.  Examples of complementarity-driven networks include interdisciplinary collaboration networks, networks of interacting proteins, and, possibly, food webs. Indeed, individuals with complementary expertise are more likely to solve an interdisciplinary problem of interest, and interactions often take place between proteins with complementary chemical properties and/or complementary binding interfaces. One of the most popular food web network models, the niche model, is based not on the similarity but on the complementarity principle, as I will demonstrate.

I will argue that existing network embedding methods are not readily applicable to complementarity-driven networks. I will then deduce a proper  framework for the representations of complementarity-driven networks and demonstrate its efficiency in network reconstruction tasks. 

Speaker Bio:

Maksim Kitsak is an assistant professor in the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science at the Delft University of Technology. Dr. Kitsak earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Boston University. Dr. Kitsak has held postdoctoral positions at the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), UC San Diego; and the Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR), Northeastern University. His research focuses on the development of theoretical and computational approaches to networked systems, with diverse applications ranging from systems biology to civil infrastructure. Results of his research have been published in top cross-disciplinary journals, such as Nature, Nature Physics, Science, and Science Advances, and have received broad media coverage.


Webinar link:
Passcode: nico
ID: 910 6417 2482

About the Speaker Series:

Wednesdays@NICO is a vibrant weekly seminar series focusing broadly on the topics of complex systems and data science. It brings together attendees ranging from graduate students to senior faculty who span all of the schools across Northwestern, from applied math to sociology to biology and every discipline in-between. Please visit: for information on future speakers.

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