Workshop on Identifying and Combating Disinformation in Big Data

2018 IEEE International Conference on Big Data
December 10-13, 2018, Seattle, WA, USA


Malicious actors use techniques such as disinformation to skew public perception. This workshop focuses on methods to detect and counter both malicious actors with the intention of spreading disinformation and disinformation itself. Solutions that require Big Data, solutions that address actors who attempt to influence Big Data, and detection of disinformation using Big Data approaches are all in scope. Advancements in detection or prevention of disinformation in social media, journalism, and voting are of particular interest.

This workshop seeks to bring together experts from diverse fields such as computer science, archival science, and social science. For example, computer science can provide technology to protect, share, and evaluate information. Archival science can provide techniques to detect inauthentic information and organize, preserve, and curate information. Social science can provide techniques to understand the motivation and effects of disinformation actors.

This workshop encourages papers that address the intersection of these topics. For example, a paper might discuss how machine learning (computer science tools) can detect Twitter bots (social science application). Similarly, a paper might describe techniques to combat holocaust denial (social science application) via preservation of concentration camp records (archival science methodology).

Example Topic Areas

  • Robust decentralized computing
  • Online voting
  • Trusted computing
  • Social media
  • Journalism
  • Influence peddling
  • Big data in journalism
  • Ethics of big data
  • Trustworthy digital preservation

The goal of this workshop is to identify gaps, potential solutions, and next steps to combat disinformation. Following the conclusion of the workshop, the chairs will release a summary report.


Paper submissions for this workshop go through the IEEE Big Data conference. You can submit a paper directly to this workshop, or to the conference a whole with this workshop selected as a secondary option.

Submissions should be original papers that have not already been published elsewhere. However, papers may include previously published results that support a new theme, as long as all past publications are fully referenced.

Workshop Paper Submission

Conference Paper Submission

Call for Papers

Time and Location

  • December 13, 2018
  • Seattle, WA
  • There is a one day registration option

Proposed Itinerary

Speakers will be held to strict time limits.

  1. Keynote Speaker: Chris Donnelly:  Disinformation in international politics (20 minutes)
  2. Paper Presentations (15 minutes each)
  3. Group Discussion: Brainstorming gaps and technologies (45 minutes)


  1. Keynote Speaker: Counter terrorism (20 minutes)
  2. Paper Presentations (15 minutes each)
  3. Group Discussion: Next steps (45 minutes)
  4. Final remarks from the chairs (15 minutes)

Important Dates

Oct 10, 2018: Due date for full workshop papers submission
Nov 1, 2018: Notification of paper acceptance to authors
Nov 15, 2018: Camera-ready of accepted papers
Dec 10-13 2018: Workshops

Program Committee Members

  • Tyler D. Smith (co-chair)
    • Tyler Smith is a senior research scientist at Adventium Labs. He is leading several of Adventium’s systems engineering and formal analysis efforts. He is researching methods for state space analysis of large-scale composite systems and practical applications of emerging cryptographic technologies including blockchain, homomorphic encryption, and zero knowledge proofs.
  • Brian Isle (co-chair)
    • Brian Isle is the co-founder and former CEO of Adventium Labs. Brian is also a Fellow at TLI teaching courses in information assurance and risk assessment, including red teaming methodology. Brian continues his research at Adventium with focus on assessment of critical infrastructure safety and security building on two decades of security-related experience. Brian supported the multi-year DOE-funded NESCOR program to improve the cyber security readiness of the next generation power grid. Brian is on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota chapter of the FBI sponsored InfraGard, on the Board of Advisors for UMN’s Engineering and Computer Engineering department, and a professional engineer registered in Minnesota.
  • Dr. Victoria Lemieux
    • Victoria Lemieux is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia iSchool. Her research interests include records and information management, risk management, information visualization and visual analytics, transparency and the public interest and international development. She is a co-chair of the IEEE Big Data workshop on Computational Archival Science.
  • Todd Carpenter
    • Todd Carpenter is Chief Engineer and Co-owner of Adventium Labs. He leads Adventium's analytical risk assessment services to identify and rank mixed-mode threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences for law enforcement, energy and transportation infrastructure, public events, healthcare, and government.
  • Simon Bracey Lane
    • Simon Bracey Lane has three years of elections experience in both the US & the UK. He has managed the distribution of communications for the Integrity Initiative cluster system and for the last year been developing the II’s presence across Europe & the US. He has worked specifically to counter malign interference in Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Lithuania and the US. This work includes the commissioning of several papers, building discussion events and the formation of a media observatory.
  • Mike Johnson
    • Mike Johnson has 25 years of risk management experience in security and financial services. Previously, he was responsible for all aspects of operations risk management for Bremer Bank, a regional financial services provider, the IT Director and Compliance Officer for Dean Financial Services, and an FDIC Bank Examiner. He began serving as the director of graduate studies for the M.S. in Security Technologies degree program at TLI in 2016.

Keynote Speakers


As a graduate of Manchester University and reserve officer in the British Army Intelligence Corps, Chris Donnelly helped to establish, and later headed, the British Army’s Soviet Studies Research Centre at RMA Sandhurst. From here he supported the setting up of the US Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office at Ft. Leavenworth. In the early 1980s he served as the UK MOD representative on the expert group studying Soviet weapons design for the DoD Office of Net Assessment and held an Adjunct Professorship at Carnegie Mellon University.

Between 1989-2003, as Special Adviser to four NATO Secretaries General, he was closely involved in dealing with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the reform of the newly emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. He left NATO in 2003 to set up and run the UK Defence Academy’s Advanced Research and Assessment Group. In 2010 he became co-Director of The Institute for Statecraft (2 Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD, dealing with new security threats and responses – specifically, new forms of conflict and warfare and how to transform institutions so that they are fit for today’s rapidly changing security environment.

Chris Donnelly has written three books as well as many articles on questions of defence, security, strategy and statecraft. He has held appointments as Specialist Adviser to three UK Defence Secretaries (both Labour and Conservative) and was a member of PM Thatcher’s Soviet advisory team. He has also served as Specialist Adviser on the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee and on the Defence Committee. He also: is adviser to the Foreign Minister of Lithuania; is a Security and Justice Senior Mentor in the UK’s Stabilisation Unit; is Trustee of the London-based charities Active Change Foundation and Forward Thinking; serves as Honorary Colonel, Specialist Group Military Intelligence (SGMI); and, sits on the official team responsible for scrutinizing the current reform of the UK’s Reserve Forces for the Defence Secretary.


Please contact Tyler D. Smith with questions: