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I am an Assistant Professor at the School of Computational Science and Engineering, since August 2013. Before that I was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Institute for Computational Sustainability. I finished my PhD in Computer Science at Cornell University in January 2012 under the supervision of Carla Gomes.

Research

I work on challenging computational problems that arise in the area of sustainability and sustainable development. In particular, decision and optimization problems are at the heart of many applications domains in the new interdisciplinary field of Computational Sustainability. I am interested in network design problems as they arise in large-scale wildlife conservation planning concerning landscape connectivity. I also work on stochastic optimization approaches to the management of diffusion processes or cascades, such as wildlife dispersal, the spread of invasive species, disease outbreaks, forest fires, as well as social networks. My work on sustainability-related problems is focused both on novel meaningful and fulfilling application domains of computational techniques, as well as on identifying new computational problems in optimization and network design that require the development of models and solution techniques that push forward the field in general.

Full CV

Education

  • Ph.D. (2005 - 2012) Computer Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
  • PhD Minor in Operations Research.
  • B.Sc. (1999-2004) Computer Science, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, CANADA (Graduated with Honors, Convocation Medal in Applied Sciences).
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) (1997-1999) United World College of the Adriatic Trieste, ITALY

Publications

  • Scalable Diffusion-Aware Optimization of Network Topology
    Elias Khalil, Bistra Dilkina, and Le Song.
    KDD-14: ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, Aug. 2014.
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • To Gather Together for a Better World: Understanding and Leveraging Communities in Micro-lending Recommendation
    J. Choo, D. Lee, B. Dilkina, H. Zha and H. Park.
    WWW-14: International World Wide Web Conference, 2014
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • CuttingEdge: Influence minimization in networks
    Elias Khalil, Bistra Dilkina, and Le Song.
    NIPS-13: Workshop on Frontiers of Network Analysis: Methods, Models, and Applications at NIPS, Dec. 2013.
    Best Paper Award
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • Improving Your Chances: Boosting Citizen Science Discovery
    Yexiang Xue, Bistra Dilkina, Theodoros Damoulas, Daniel Fink, Carla P. Gomes and Steve Kelling.
    HCOMP-13: AAAI Conference on Human Computation and CrowdSourcing, Nov 2013.
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • US Patent 8554519: Method for designing the layout of turbines in a windfarm
    B. Dilkina, J. Kalagnanam, E. Novakovskaia.
    Assignee: IBM Corp. Granted Oct 8, 2013.
  • Robust Network Design for Multispecies Conservation
    Ronan Le Bras, Bistra Dilkina, Yexiang Xue, Carla P. Gomes, Kevin S. McKelvey, Claire Montgomery and Michael K. Schwartz.
    AAAI-13: AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 2013 (CompSustAI Track)
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • Large Landscape Conservation - Synthetic and Real-World Datasets
    Bistra Dilkina, Katherine Lai, Ronan Le Bras, Yexiang Xue, Carla P. Gomes, Ashish Sabharwal, Jordan Suter, Kevin S. McKelvey, Michael K. Schwartz and Claire Montgomery.
    AAAI-13: AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 2013 (CompSustAI Track Data Challenge Paper)
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • Upgrading Shortest Paths in Networks
    Bistra Dilkina, Katherine Lai, Carla Gomes.
    CPAIOR-11: International Conference on Integration of AI and OR Techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, Berlin, Germany, May 2011.
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
    Extended talk presented at INFORMS Annual Meeting 2011 as: Cost-effective Conservation Planning for Improved Landscape Connectivity (awarded Best Talk in the INFORMS 2011 Forestry Sessions) An Empirical Study of Optimization for Maximizing Diffusion in Networks
    K. Ahmadizadeh, \emph{B. Dilkina}, C. P. Gomes, A. Sabharwal.
    CP-10: Intl. Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, 2010
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • Maximizing Spread of Cascades Using Network Design
    Daniel Sheldon, Bistra Dilkina, Adam Elmachtoub, Ryan Finseth, Ashish Sabharwal, Jon Conrad, Carla Gomes, David Shmoys, Will Allen, Ole Amundsen, William Vaughan.
    UAI-10: Conference in Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, Catalina Island, CA, July 2010.
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • Solving Connected Subgraph Problems in Wildlife Conservation
    Bistra Dilkina, Carla P. Gomes
    CPAIOR-10: International Conference on Integration of AI and OR Techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, Bologna, Italy, June 2010.
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • Backdoors in the Context of Learning
    Bistra Dilkina, Carla P. Gomes, Ashish Sabharwal
    SAT-09: 12th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing, Swansea, Wales, U.K., June 2009. (short paper).
    [ PDF, extended version as a Tech Report | BiBTeX | also at CORS-INFORMS-09]
  • Backdoors to Combinatorial Optimization: Feasibility and Optimality
    Bistra Dilkina, Carla Gomes, Yuri Malitsky, Ashish Sabharwal, Meinolf Sellmann
    CPAIOR-09: 6th International Conference on Integration of AI and OR Techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2009.
    [ PDF | BiBTeX | also at CORS/INFORMS 2009 ]
  • Tradeoffs in the Complexity of Backdoor Detection
    Bistra Dilkina, Carla P. Gomes, Ashish Sabharwal
    CP-07: 13th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, Providence, RI, Sept 2007.
    Also: talk at INFORMS Annual Meeting 2008
    [ PDF | extended results at ISAIM-08 | BiBTeX ]
  • The Impact of Network Topology on Pure Nash Equilibria in Graphical Games
    Bistra Dilkina, Carla P. Gomes, Ashish Sabharwal
    AAAI-07: 22nd Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July 2007.
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ] Nominated for the AAAI-07 Best Paper Award
  • Extending Systematic Local Search for Job Shop Scheduling Problems
    Bistra Dilkina, Lei Duan, and William S. Havens
    CP-05: 11th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, Sitges, Spain, October 2005
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • Scheduling the National Football League Season
    Bistra Dilkina and William S. Havens
    IAAI-04: 16th Innovative Applications in AI Conference, San Jose, USA, July 2004
    [ PDF | BiBTeX ]
  • A Hybrid Schema for Systematic Local Search
    William S. Havens and Bistra Dilkina
    AI-04: 17th Canadian Conference on AI, London, Canada, May 2004
    [ PDF | BiBTeX]

Teaching

CSE 6140: CSE Algorithms, Fall 2015 [ link ]

CSE 6140: CSE Algorithms, Fall 2014 [ link ]

CSE 8803: Computational Sustainability, Spring 2014 and 2015 [ link ]

CompSust Conference, 2012: Tutorial Presenter, Master class at International Conference on Computational Sustainability (CompSust), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2012

Ongoing Projects

Wildlife Corridor Design
Connected Subgraph Problem with Node Profits and Node Costs
[link]

Landscape Connectivity
Upgrading Shortest Paths in Networks
[link]

Conservation Planning with Meta-population Models
Network Design for Cascade Optimization
[link]

Building Design Optimization
[link]


Bistra Dilkina

Contact Information

Bistra Dilkina
1304 Klaus Bldg
266 Ferst Drive
Atlanta, GA 30332
bdilkina at cc.gatech.edu