Efficient influence spread estimation for influence maximization under the linear threshold model

Research paper by Zaixin Lu, Lidan Fan, Weili Wu, Bhavani Thuraisingham, Kai Yang

Indexed on: 15 Oct '14Published on: 15 Oct '14Published in: Computational Social Networks


This paper investigates the influence maximization (IM) problem in social networks under the linear threshold (LT) model. Kempe et al. (ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, pp. 137–146, 2003) showed that the standard greedy algorithm, which selects the node with the maximum marginal gain repeatedly, brings a e−1e-factor approximation solution to this problem. However, Chen et al. (International Conference on Data Mining, pp. 88–97, 2010) proved that the problem of computing the expected influence spread (EIS) of a node is #P-hard. Therefore, to compute the marginal gain exactly is computational intractable.We step-up on investigating efficient algorithm to compute EIS. We show that the EIS of a node can be computed by finding cycles through it, and we further develop an exact algorithm to compute EIS within a small number of hops and an approximation algorithm to estimate EIS without the hop constraint. Based on the proposed EIS algorithms, we finally develop an efficient greedy based algorithm for IM.We compare our algorithm with some well-known IM algorithms on four real-world social networks. The experimental results show that our algorithm is more accurate than others in finding the most influential nodes, and it is also better than or competitive with them in terms of running time.IM is a big topic in social network analysis. In this paper, we investigate efficient influence spread estimation for IM under the LT model. We develop two influence spread estimation algorithms and a new greedy based algorithm for IM under the LT model. The performance of the proposed algorithms are analyzed theoretically and evaluated through simulations.