Student Research Spotlight

Abhishek K. Umrawal Profile Picture

Abhishek K. Umrawal


Industrial Engineering (IE)


Prof. Christopher J. Quinn

Research Title:

Computational Marketing on Social Networks

Research Description:

The recent advent of social media has changed the way traditional marketing strategies were used to be designed. Companies are now preferring to allocate a significant proportion of the marketing budget to drive sales through social media. There are several ways in which social media can be leveraged for promotional marketing. For instance, advertising on the most visited social platforms, making social media pages for branding and spreading a word about the product, etc.

What I am working on is, how the dynamics of the social network can be used to ‘identify’ the right individuals to ‘incentivize’ to get a maximum ‘influence’ in the entire network? In the words of Domingos and Richardson, the problem can be formalized as: “if we can try to convince a subset of individuals in a social network to adopt a new product or innovation, and the goal is to trigger a large cascade of further adoptions, which set of individuals should we target”?

In the past researchers have come up with different algorithms to solve this NP-Hard problem. I am working on solving this problem using tools from machine learning, optimization, and game theory under more general settings.


My research work is very interdisciplinary in nature. I focus on developing efficient computer algorithms which can be applied to design promotional marketing in a more strategic manner.

The same framework can also be used in epidemiology to understand which individuals are most likely to spread some contagious disease in the population. And, if the vaccination budget is limited then those individuals can be targeted first for vaccination to minimize the chances of a disease outbreak.

I decided to join the Computational Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (CIGP) to gain more insights on interdisciplinary research through courses, seminars and interaction with researchers from diverse areas.


  • Umrawal, A. K. and Quinn, C. J. (2018). Maximizing the Spread of Influence through a Social Network under Fractional Incentives. (Work in Progress)
  • Umrawal, A. K. and Barenboim, E. (2017). A Causality based Graphical Test to obtain an Optimal Blocking Set for Randomized Experiments. (Work in Progress)


  • Presented a poster titled 'Optimal Blocking for Randomized Experiments' in Industrial Engineering Research Symposium organized by Purdue University held on Apr 19, 2018.


  • "Vice-President of Finance" at Informs Student Chapter, Purdue University, Aug 2018 - Present.
  • "Academic Affairs Chair" at IE Grad Students' Organization (IEGSO), Purdue University, Aug 2018 - Present.
  • "Social Events Chair" at IE Grad Students' Organization (IEGSO), Purdue University, Nov 2017 - Present.

Personal Page:

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