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Shadowing and shielding: effective heuristics for continuous influence maximisation in the voting dynamics

Shadowing and shielding: effective heuristics for continuous influence maximisation in the voting dynamics
Shadowing and shielding: effective heuristics for continuous influence maximisation in the voting dynamics
Influence maximisation, or how to affect the intrinsic opinion dynamics of a social group, is relevant for many applications, such as information campaigns, political competition, or marketing. Previous literature on influence maximisation has mostly explored discrete allocations of influence, i.e. optimally choosing a finite fixed number of nodes to target. Here, we study the generalised problem of continuous influence maximisation where nodes can be targeted with flexible intensity. We focus on optimal influence allocations against a passive opponent and compare the structure of the solutions in the continuous and discrete regimes. We find that, whereas hub allocations play a central role in explaining optimal allocations in the discrete regime, their explanatory power is strongly reduced in the continuous regime. Instead, we find that optimal continuous strategies are very well described by two other patterns: (i) targeting the same nodes as the opponent (shadowing) and (ii) targeting direct neighbours of the opponent (shielding). Finally, we investigate the game-theoretic scenario of two active opponents and show that the unique pure Nash equilibrium is to target all nodes equally. These results expose fundamental differences in the solutions to discrete and continuous regimes and provide novel effective heuristics for continuous influence maximisation.
Complex networks, Game theory, Influence maximization, Network control, Opinion dynamics, Social networks, Voter model
1932-6203
Romero Moreno, Guillermo
8c2f32d6-b0b5-4563-af22-c08b410b867f
Chakraborty, Sukankana
f0a805bd-745b-48ab-b7cd-b054ab0a67d3
Brede, Markus
bbd03865-8e0b-4372-b9d7-cd549631f3f7
Romero Moreno, Guillermo
8c2f32d6-b0b5-4563-af22-c08b410b867f
Chakraborty, Sukankana
f0a805bd-745b-48ab-b7cd-b054ab0a67d3
Brede, Markus
bbd03865-8e0b-4372-b9d7-cd549631f3f7

Romero Moreno, Guillermo, Chakraborty, Sukankana and Brede, Markus (2021) Shadowing and shielding: effective heuristics for continuous influence maximisation in the voting dynamics. PLoS ONE, 16 (6), [e0252515]. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0252515).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Influence maximisation, or how to affect the intrinsic opinion dynamics of a social group, is relevant for many applications, such as information campaigns, political competition, or marketing. Previous literature on influence maximisation has mostly explored discrete allocations of influence, i.e. optimally choosing a finite fixed number of nodes to target. Here, we study the generalised problem of continuous influence maximisation where nodes can be targeted with flexible intensity. We focus on optimal influence allocations against a passive opponent and compare the structure of the solutions in the continuous and discrete regimes. We find that, whereas hub allocations play a central role in explaining optimal allocations in the discrete regime, their explanatory power is strongly reduced in the continuous regime. Instead, we find that optimal continuous strategies are very well described by two other patterns: (i) targeting the same nodes as the opponent (shadowing) and (ii) targeting direct neighbours of the opponent (shielding). Finally, we investigate the game-theoretic scenario of two active opponents and show that the unique pure Nash equilibrium is to target all nodes equally. These results expose fundamental differences in the solutions to discrete and continuous regimes and provide novel effective heuristics for continuous influence maximisation.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 9 June 2021
Published date: 18 June 2021
Keywords: Complex networks, Game theory, Influence maximization, Network control, Opinion dynamics, Social networks, Voter model

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449773
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449773
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 733db627-68ee-47d1-a0ac-a30b4ea954a4
ORCID for Guillermo Romero Moreno: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0316-8306

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Jun 2021 16:31
Last modified: 16 Sep 2021 01:59

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Contributors

Author: Guillermo Romero Moreno ORCID iD
Author: Sukankana Chakraborty
Author: Markus Brede

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