How to schedule a cascade in an arbitrary graph

Flavio Chierichetti, Jon Kleinberg, Alessandro Panconesi
2012 Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce - EC '12  
When individuals in a social network make decisions that depend on what others have done earlier, there is the potential for a cascade to form -a run of behaviors that are highly correlated. In an arbitrary network, the outcome of such a cascade can depend sensitively on the order in which nodes make their decisions, but to do date there has been very little investigation of how this dependence works, or how to choose an order to optimize various parameters of the cascade. Here we formulate the
more » ... re we formulate the problem of ordering the nodes in a cascade to maximize the expected number of "favorable" decisions -those that support a given option. We provide an algorithm that ensures an expected linear number of favorable decisions in any graph, and we show that the performance bounds for our algorithm are essentially the best achievable assuming P = NP. A model: Sequential decisions with positive externalities In an influential paper in the economic theory literature, Brian Arthur proposed a simple model for how cascades form [1] . He based his model on a scenario with two competing products Y and N (mnemonic shorthand for "yes" and "no") that each exhibit positive externalities -they become more valuable as more people use them. 1
doi:10.1145/2229012.2229040 dblp:conf/sigecom/ChierichettiKP12 fatcat:inninyuofbcwhimjalkavwkpsq