Limitations of Greed: Influence Maximization in Undirected Networks Re-visited

26 Feb 2020  ·  Schoenebeck Grant, Tao Biaoshuai, Yu Fang-Yi ·

We consider the influence maximization problem (selecting $k$ seeds in a network maximizing the expected total influence) on undirected graphs under the linear threshold model. On the one hand, we prove that the greedy algorithm always achieves a $(1 - (1 - 1/k)^k + \Omega(1/k^3))$-approximation, showing that the greedy algorithm does slightly better on undirected graphs than the generic $(1- (1 - 1/k)^k)$ bound which also applies to directed graphs... On the other hand, we show that substantial improvement on this bound is impossible by presenting an example where the greedy algorithm can obtain at most a $(1- (1 - 1/k)^k + O(1/k^{0.2}))$ approximation. This result stands in contrast to the previous work on the independent cascade model. Like the linear threshold model, the greedy algorithm obtains a $(1-(1-1/k)^k)$-approximation on directed graphs in the independent cascade model. However, Khanna and Lucier showed that, in undirected graphs, the greedy algorithm performs substantially better: a $(1-(1-1/k)^k + c)$ approximation for constant $c > 0$. Our results show that, surprisingly, no such improvement occurs in the linear threshold model. Finally, we show that, under the linear threshold model, the approximation ratio $(1 - (1 - 1/k)^k)$ is tight if 1) the graph is directed or 2) the vertices are weighted. In other words, under either of these two settings, the greedy algorithm cannot achieve a $(1 - (1 - 1/k)^k + f(k))$-approximation for any positive function $f(k)$. The result in setting 2) is again in a sharp contrast to Khanna and Lucier's $(1 - (1 - 1/k)^k + c)$-approximation result for the independent cascade model, where the $(1 - (1 - 1/k)^k + c)$ approximation guarantee can be extended to the setting where vertices are weighted. We also discuss extensions to more generalized settings including those with edge-weighted graphs. read more

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Data Structures and Algorithms Computational Complexity Social and Information Networks

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