Abstract: There is tremendous interest in understanding and harnessing the spread of information and influence over social networks, fueled by applications such as viral marketing, epidemiology, and spreading of innovation. Ever since the seminal publications by Domingos and Richardson (2001) and Kempe, Kleinberg, and Tardos (2003), this field has seen an explosive growth. Using viral marketing as a driving application, in this talk, I will present some key problems in this area that touch on inherent assumptions, modeling, scalability, and functionality. I will also discuss the solutions developed in our group. I will conclude the talk with a list of problems that need to be solved in order to take viral marketing out of the lab.
This is joint work with several colleagues, grad students, and postdocs, who will be acknowledged in the talk.