In the last couple of years, I developed some (research) interest in recommendation algorithms and speech synthesis. My interests in these areas are geared towards developing an automated personalized news radio.

Almost all of us are interesting in consuming news. In this internet age, there is no dearth of news sources. Often we have too many sources. We tend to “read” news from several sources / news aggregators, spending several hours per week. Most of the time we are simply interested in the top and relevant headlines.

PolyTopix is my way of simplifying the process of consuming top and relevant news. The initial prototype is here. The website “reads” several news tweets (collected from different sources) and ordered based on a machine learning algorithm. Users can login and specify their individual interests (and zip code) to narrow down the news.


Try PolyTopix let me know your feedback. Here are some upcoming features :

  • Automatically collect weather news (and local news) based on your location.
  • Reading more details of most important news.
  • News will be classified as exciting/sad/happy etc., (based on a machine learning algorithm) and read with the corresponding emotional voice.

Essentially PolyTopix is aimed towards a completely automated and personalized news radio, that can “read” news from across the world anytime with one click.


Forbidden Directed Minors and Kelly-width

Today’s post is about the following paper, a joint work with Qiuyi Zhang, one of my advisees. Qiuyi Zhang is an undergraduate (rising senior) in our mathematics department.

  • Shiva Kintali, Qiuyi Zhang. Forbidden Directed Minors and Kelly-width. (Preprint available on my publications page)

It is well-known that an undirected graph is a partial 1-tree (i.e., a forest) if and only if it has no K_3 minor. We generalized this characterization to partial 1-DAGs. We proved that partial 1-DAGs are characterized by three forbidden directed minors, K_3, N_4 and M_5, shown in the following figure. We named the last two graphs as N_4 and M_5 because their bidirected edges resemble the letters N and M.


Partial k-trees characterize bounded treewidth graphs. Similarly, partial k-DAGs characterize bounded Kelly-width digraphs. Kelly-width is the best known generalization of treewidth to digraphs.

As mentioned in the paper, I have a series of upcoming papers (called Directed Minors) making progress towards a directed graph minor theorem (i.e., all digraphs are well-quasi-ordered by the directed minor relation). For more details of the directed minor relation, read the current paper. I will post about the upcoming results as and when the preprints are ready.