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February 27 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST

Title: Social Network Interventions for Faster and Further Diffusions

Speaker: Amin Rahimian, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

Date: Thursday, February 27th, 2020

Time: 4:00pm

Location: Northeastern University, 177 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 11th Floor



We first consider the choice of k seeds in a social network to maximize the expected spread size under a submodular model of diffusion. Most of the previous work on this problem (known as influence maximization) focuses on efficient algorithms to approximate the optimal seed sets with provable guarantees, assuming the knowledge of the entire network graph. However, in practice, obtaining full knowledge of the network structure is very costly. To address this gap, we propose algorithms that make a bounded number of queries to the graph structure and still provide almost tight approximation guarantees [arXiv:1905.04325].

We next shift attention to interventions that change the network structure to increase the speed of spread. Unlike sub-modular diffusions, for threshold-based contagions, recent work has argued that highly clustered, rather than randomly rewired, networks facilitate faster spread. We investigate conditions under which we can reverse this conclusion by allowing a small probability of adoptions below threshold.

About the speaker
Amin Rahimian is a postdoctoral research fellow at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) and will be joining the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Industrial Engineering as an assistant professor. He received his PhD in Electrical and Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and Masters in Statistics from Wharton School. He works at the intersection of networks, data, and decision sciences. He borrows tools from applied probability, statistics, algorithms, as well as decision and game theory to address problems of distributed inference and decentralized interventions in large-scale sociotechnical systems.


February 27
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Network Science Institute, 11th Floor
177 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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