Tutte seminar - Hamid Mahini

Friday, December 6, 2013 3:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Behavioral Cascades with Opposing Influences

Speaker: Hamid Mahini
Affiliation: University of Maryland
Room: Mathematics and Computer Building (MC) 5158


In social networks, opinions and behaviors tend to spread quickly. When an idea seeks to gain attention, success requires both appealing to individual users and a careful understanding of cascading behavior – an idea that appeals to a small set of highly influential individuals can easily overwhelm an idea with a much larger, but less influential, support base. Understanding exactly how the choices of individuals propagate through a network, however, poses significant challenges.
We consider a model recently studied by Chierichetti, Kleinberg, and Panconesi (EC 2012) to model cascading behavior when members of a social network must each choose one of two opposing ideas. The model captures the struggle between a desire to follow personal preferences and to match the choices of those you interact with. In this model, observed choices can look much different than the underlying preferences of individuals in the social network, due to cascading of behavior from individuals following their neighbors’ lead.
In this talk, we seek to answer the following questions. How should the planner design a schedule considering this fact that positive reaction to the idea in early choices has a positive impact on probability of success in later choices, whereas a flopped reaction has exactly the opposite impact? Is there any bound on adoption rates in terms of underlying preferences?