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Multi-objective Evolutionary Algorithms for Influence Maximization in Social Networks

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNTCS,volume 10199)


As the pervasiveness of social networks increases, new NP-hard related problems become interesting for the optimization community. The objective of influence maximization is to contact the largest possible number of nodes in a network, starting from a small set of seed nodes, and assuming a model for information propagation. This problem is of utmost practical importance for applications ranging from social studies to marketing. The influence maximization problem is typically formulated assuming that the number of the seed nodes is a parameter. Differently, in this paper, we choose to formulate it in a multi-objective fashion, considering the minimization of the number of seed nodes among the goals, and we tackle it with an evolutionary approach. As a result, we are able to identify sets of seed nodes of different size that spread influence the best, providing factual data to trade-off costs with quality of the result. The methodology is tested on two real-world case studies, using two different influence propagation models, and compared against state-of-the-art heuristic algorithms. The results show that the proposed approach is almost always able to outperform the heuristics.


  • Influence maximization
  • Social network
  • Multi-objective evolutionary algorithms

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Andrea Marcelli Ph.D. program at Politecnico di Torino is supported by a fellowship from TIM (Telecom Italia Group).

This article is based upon work from COST Action CA15140 ‘Improving Applicability of Nature-Inspired Optimisation by Joining Theory and Practice (ImAppNIO)’ supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

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Bucur, D., Iacca, G., Marcelli, A., Squillero, G., Tonda, A. (2017). Multi-objective Evolutionary Algorithms for Influence Maximization in Social Networks. In: Squillero, G., Sim, K. (eds) Applications of Evolutionary Computation. EvoApplications 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 10199. Springer, Cham.

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