The Dynamics of Opinion Formation in Social Networks

author: Evimaria Terzi, Computer Science Department, Boston University
published: Sept. 27, 2013,   recorded: August 2013,   views: 143
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Description

The process of opinion formation through synthesis and contrast of different viewpoints has been the subject of many studies in economics and social sciences. Today, this process manifests itself also in online social networks and social media. The key characteristic of successful promotion campaigns is that they take into consideration such opinion-formation dynamics in order to create a overall favorable opinion about a specific information item, such as a person, a product, or an idea. In this talk, we will review models of opinion dynamics and give a game-theoretic viewpoint to the opinion-formation process. Moreover, we will formalize the campaign-design problem as the problem of identifying a set of target individuals whose positive opinion about an information item will maximize the overall positive opinion for the item in the social network. From the technical point of view, we will discuss different variants of such campaign-design problems and analyze their computational difficulties as well as their applicability in practical settings.

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