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Information and Influence Propagation in Social Networks

Researchers: Virgil Gligor, Osman Yagan

Research Area: Next Generation Secure and Available Networks


The emergence of online social networks has posed new research challenges regarding the diffusion of information among humans in large networks. In particular, due to the existence of multiple online social networks, information is now likely to spread among the population in an unprecedented speed and scale. Research is needed to quantify this phenomenon by using both an analytical approach through synthetic network models as well as an empirical approach relying on the data from the real-world social networks. A related problem of interest is the diffusion of influence in social networks. Spread of influence, also known as complex contagion, refers to the phenomenon in which multiple sources of exposure to an innovation are required before an individual adopts a change in behavior. Both of these problems are important and their study can impact both individuals’ actions and businesses. For example, understanding the dynamics of these spreading events is of great interest across various disciplines, and can pave the way to develop better marketing strategies for products and ideas to go viral.