Threshold models for competitive influence in social networks

Allan Borodin, Yuval Filmus and Joel Oren
WINE 2010

The problem of influence maximization deals with choosing the optimal set of nodes in a social networks so as to maximize the resulting spread of a technology (opinion, product ownership and so on), given a model of diffusion of influence in a network. A natural extension is a competitive setting, in which the goal is to maximize the spread of our technology in the presence of one or more competitors.

We suggest several natural extensions to the well-studied linear threshold model, showing that the original greedy approach cannot be used.

Furthermore, we show that for a broad family of competitive influence models, it is NP-hard to achieve an approximation that is better than a square root of the optimal solution; the same proof can also be applied to give a negative result for a conjecture in Carnes et al. about a general cascade model for competitive diffusion.

Finally, we suggest a natural model that is amenable to the greedy approach.


 author = {Allan Borodin and Yuval Filmus and Joel Oren},
 title = {Threshold models for competitive influence in social networks},
 booktitle = {The 6th Workshop on Internet and Network Economics
 ({WINE} 2010)},
 year = {2010},
 pages = {539--550}
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