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Campaigning in Heterogeneous Social Networks: Optimal Control of SI Information Epidemics

Kandhway, Kundan and Kuri, Joy (2016) Campaigning in Heterogeneous Social Networks: Optimal Control of SI Information Epidemics. In: IEEE-ACM TRANSACTIONS ON NETWORKING, 24 (1). pp. 383-396.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNET.2014.2361801


We study the optimal control problem of maximizing the spread of an information epidemic on a social network. Information propagation is modeled as a susceptible-infected (SI) process, and the campaign budget is fixed. Direct recruitment and word-of-mouth incentives are the two strategies to accelerate information spreading (controls). We allow for multiple controls depending on the degree of the nodes/individuals. The solution optimally allocates the scarce resource over the campaign duration and the degree class groups. We study the impact of the degree distribution of the network on the controls and present results for Erdos-Renyi and scale-free networks. Results show that more resource is allocated to high-degree nodes in the case of scale-free networks, but medium-degree nodes in the case of Erdos-Renyi networks. We study the effects of various model parameters on the optimal strategy and quantify the improvement offered by the optimal strategy over the static and bang-bang control strategies. The effect of the time-varying spreading rate on the controls is explored as the interest level of the population in the subject of the campaign may change over time. We show the existence of a solution to the formulated optimal control problem, which has nonlinear isoperimetric constraints, using novel techniques that is general and can be used in other similar optimal control problems. This work may be of interest to political, social awareness, or crowdfunding campaigners and product marketing managers, and with some modifications may be used for mitigating biological epidemics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC, 445 HOES LANE, PISCATAWAY, NJ 08855-4141 USA
Keywords: Erdos-Renyi networks; information epidemics; nonlinear programming; optimal control; scale-free networks; social networks; susceptible-infected (SI)
Department/Centre: Division of Electrical Sciences > Electronic Systems Engineering (Formerly Centre for Electronic Design & Technology)
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2016 07:22
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2016 07:22
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/53558

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