Network Functionality Models

Network Functionality Models

Juan Tejada (Complutense University of Madrid, Spain) & Elisenda Molina (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

This session is devoted to the analysis of social networks taking into account the interests that motivate the interactions among individuals in a network. The main idea is to combine the structural information given by the graph of relations (how nodes are connected) with information about the purpose of the social network (what they are connected for). For instance, in order to measure the importance or the relevance of a node it could be crucial to take into account if the network is used for exchanging messages, organizing a terrorist attack, forming work teams, diffusing information, or any other purpose. Different functionalities of the network could lead to different rankings of the nodes. In particular, a possibility is to adopt a game theoretic approach to the issue of measuring individual and group centrality. For instance, one can consider a cooperative game in characteristic function form that intends to model the functionality of the social network. Another approach, which is usual in the context of diffusion of innovations, considers a stochastic process to model the dynamics in which a behavior spreads through the network. For instance, Kempe, Kleinberg and Tardos (2005) introduce the decreasing cascade models in order to evaluate the power of each group of initiators to spread the innovation. Other approaches are welcome.

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