AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Time-Critical Influence Maximization in Social Networks with Time-Delayed Diffusion Process
Wei Chen, Wei Lu, Ning Zhang

Last modified: 2012-07-14


Influence maximization is a problem of finding a small set of highly influential users in a social network such that the spread of influence under certain propagation models is maximized. In this paper, we consider time-critical influence maximization, in which one wants to maximize influence spread within a given deadline. Since timing is considered in the optimization, we also extend the Independent Cascade (IC) model to incorporate the time delay aspect of influence diffusion in social networks. We show that time-critical influence maximization under the time-delayed IC model maintains desired properties such as submodularity, which allows a greedy algorithm to achieve an approximation ratio of 1-1/e, to circumvent the NP-hardness of the problem. To overcome the inefficiency of the approximation algorithm, we design two heuristic algorithms: the first one is based on a dynamic programming procedure that computes exact influence in tree structures, while the second one converts the problem to one in the original IC model and then applies existing fast heuristics to it. Our simulation results demonstrate that our heuristics achieve the same level of influence spread as the greedy algorithm while running a few orders of magnitude faster, and they also outperform existing algorithms that disregard the deadline constraint and delays in diffusion.


Social Networks; Influence Maximization; Information Diffusion

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