Benchmarking seeding strategies for spreading processes in social networks: an interplay between influencers, topologies and sizes

Felipe Montes, Ana María Jaramillo, Jose D Meisel, Albert Diaz-Guilera, Juan A Valdivia, Olga L Sarmiento, Roberto Zarama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The explosion of network science has permitted an understanding of how the structure of social networks affects the dynamics of social contagion. In community-based interventions with spill-over effects, identifying influential spreaders may be harnessed to increase the spreading efficiency of social contagion, in terms of time needed to spread all the largest connected component of the network. Several strategies have been proved to be efficient using only data and simulation-based models in specific network topologies without a consensus of an overall result. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to benchmark the spreading efficiency of seeding strategies related to network structural properties and sizes. We simulate spreading processes on empirical and simulated social networks within a wide range of densities, clustering coefficients, and sizes. We also propose three new decentralized seeding strategies that are structurally different from well-known strategies: community hubs, ambassadors, and random hubs. We observe that the efficiency ranking of strategies varies with the network structure. In general, for sparse networks with community structure, decentralized influencers are suitable for increasing the spreading efficiency. By contrast, when the networks are denser, centralized influencers outperform. These results provide a framework for selecting efficient strategies according to different contexts in which social networks emerge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3666
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2020

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