About Professor Liaquat Hossain

I am interested in understanding the formation and adaptation of hierarchical, non hierarchical, emerging and self organized structures in social, biological, living and organizational systems. I have been investigating the functioning and robustness of hierarchical structures and potential problem leading to disruption or delay in the adaptation of behaviors for optimal functioning. I consider the examination of feedback systems leading to effectiveness and efficiency in learning, correcting or intervention to changed behavior an important step towards understanding performance outcome of different networks in social, biological, living and organizational systems. I am fascinated by the complexity of interactions of different macro and micro structures which could lead to positive, negative or improved outcome in different types of systems and sub systems. I have significant working relationships with Banks, Insurance Companies such as HCF, CRC Financial Markets, CRC Bushfire, NSW Fire, NSW Ambulance, Department of Environment and Sustainability, Australian Federal Police, NSW Health and Hunter NewEngland Area Health Services, State Emergency Services, Emergency Management Australia. Within the University of Sydney, I have been able to link my research activities with Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Sydney Institute for Emerging Infectious Disease, Centre for Obesity Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease, Centre for Mathematical Biology and Centre for International Security.

Grants awarded: • 2011-2013 DP110105115 A/Prof Jennifer A O'Dea, A/Prof Michael J Dibley, Prof Liaquat Hossain Approved Project Title: An investigation of ethnicity, socio-economic status and social networks as drivers of childhood obesity and body image among children • 2011 $190,003.00 • 2012 $144,763.00 • 2013 $116,859.00 This study addresses the problem of obesity and overweight in children and adolescents in Australia. It aims to build a longitudinal picture of relevant social, behavioural and environmental factors and includes a unique study of the role of social networks in determining and reinforcing understandings and prevalence of obesity and overweight.• 2010-2013 $274K from CRC Bushfire for Incident Management and Coordination Research • 2010 $530K for AusAid Africa Fellowships program (with Geoff Galop and Lee Burns) • 2009-2011 $320K for leading the following research program on Social Networks for Australian CMCRC (Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre) http://www.cmcrc.com and HCF Australia (Hospital Contribution Funds) • 2002-2005 $1.2m from US Department of Defense Award for CRC (Context, Role and Semantic) approach in early detection of insider threats (US$1.2m for 3 years, with Prof. Liz Liddy and A/Prof. Joon Park)

Current Collaborative Research Projects:

Exploring Childhood Obesity through Social Networks
(Jennifer O’Dea, Faculty of Education; Michael Dibley, Sydney School of Public Health and Liaquat Hossain, Faculty of Engineering & IT)
This project is funded by ARC Discovery Grant 2011 ($499K for 3 years)
We aim to apply multi method approaches to deliver a comprehensive and longitudinal understanding of the complexity of Australia’s obesity trends among children and adolescents by identifying the social drivers of childhood obesity and related weight issues. With a focus on attitudinal and culturally informed factors, and the cross-cutting influence of social networks, the research will highlight opportunities for education, health promotion and social policy to affect obesity prevention strategies and outcomes. The major research question is - How are childhood obesity and body image interrelated with ethnicity, socio-economic status and social networks and how are these issues understood among various groups and networks of students and their families?
Dynamic Modeling of Organizational Colony Networks for Coordinated Response to Influenza (Liaquat Hossain, Faculty of Engineering & IT; Tania Sorrell, Sydney Institute for Emerging Infectious Disease and Biosecurity; and John Crawford Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources)
We propose to develop biologically inspired dynamic social network algorithm for developing robust monitoring, prediction and evaluation of the spread of infections as well as the robustness in coordinated response to infections. In our proposed study, new bio inspired dynamic network algorithms would be developed to perform the real time monitoring of spread of infections which would be used to perform optimized link prediction in a distributed spread of infections network. The outcome of our study would lead to the development of not only new optimized approach to monitor and link prediction of the spread dynamics of the bacterial colony, but also to explore the robustness of organizational colony of Area Health Networks in responding to the infections optimally.
BISoN: A Biologically-Inspired Social Network Framework for Coordinated and Adaptive Emergency Response (Liaquat Hossain, Faculty of Engineering & IT; John Crawford, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and State Emergency Services SES as partner organisation)
We propose to explore complex adaptive coordination structures from social, biological and life networks perspective. Traditionally, within studies of coordination, there has been a discounting or neglect of social networks as a source of exploring the inherent relationships among actors, their activities, shared goals and interdependencies. Coordinating operations requiring more ‘collaborative problem solving’ involving officials and local communities is underscored in recent studies. Our aim is to create more effective, efficient and robust information network systems for decision making during crisis events and for post-crisis analysis.
Adaptive multi-agency response coordination for managing distributed disease outbreaks (Liaquat Hossain, Faculty of Engineering & IT; John Crawford, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and Hunter NewEngland Area Health Networks as partner organisation)
This will be an ambitious project to combine knowledge and theory from sociology, biology, information systems, and mathematical and economic sociology to analyze disease outbreak coordination dynamics involving Australian multi-organizational disease-outbreak responses from a self-organization perspective. To achieve this, we will draw on the strengths of strong- and weak-tie theories, and structural holes theory, with theoretical analyses from the study of adaptive and self-healing biological network dynamics.

Selected publications

  • Abbasi, A., Altmann, L., and Hossain, L (2011) Scientific Collaboration (co-authorship) impact on Scholars’ Performance, Journal of Informetrics (JOI), accepted on 9/03/2011 (Impact Factor: 3.379).
  • Abbasi, A., Uddin, S., and Hossain, L. (2011) Socioeconomic analysis of patientcentric networks: effects of patients and hospitals’ characteristics and network structure on hospitalization costs, The European Journal of Health Economics, DOI 10.1007/s10198-011-0303-5 (Impact Factor: 1.337).
  • S. Uddin, S.T.H. Murshed, and Hossain, L (2011) Power-law behaviour in complex organizational communication network during crisis, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, doi:10.1016/j.physa.2011.03.028 (Impact Factor: 1.562).
  • Uddin, S., Hossain, L., Murshed, S. T. and Crawford, J. W. (2011) Static versus dynamic topology of complex communications network during organizational crisis, Complexity, 16: n/a. doi: 10.1002/cplx.20349 (Impact Factor: 0.948).
  • Uddin, S. and Hossain, L. (2011) Disaster coordination preparedness of soft-target organisations, Disasters, 35: no. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2011.01229.x (Impact Factor: 0.781).
  • Chung, K. S. K and Hossain, L. (2010) Towards a social network model for understanding information and communication technology use for general practitioners in rural Australia, Computers in Human Behaviour, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2009.12.008, pp. 562–571 (Impact Factor: 1.677).
  • Hossain, L. and Kuti, M. (2010), Disaster response preparedness coordination through social networks, Disasters, 34: 755–786. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2010.01168.x (Impact Factor: 0.781).
  • Hossain, L., and Wigand, R. T. (2004) ICT Enabled Virtual Collaboration through Trust, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, JCMC 10 (1) November 2004, pp.22-31 (Impact Factor: 3.639).
  • Hossain, L (2003) Is Formalised Structure a necessary prerequisite for implementation a national telecommunications plan in both Developed and Developing Economies? Technovation, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 39-49 (Impact Factor: 2.466). 
  • Hossain, L. (2001) The Management Challenges for the Thai Telecom Operators: A Framework for Understanding the Telecommunications Strategic Planning Process for the Case of the Telephone Organization of Thailand (1954-1996), Technovation, Vol. 21, No. 7, pp.449-461 (Impact Factor: 2.466).