Space-time budget allocation for marketing over social networks

Abstract : We address formally the problem of opinion dynamics when the agents of a social network (e.g., consumers) are not only influenced by their neighbors but also by an external influential entity referred to as a marketer. The influential entity tries to sway the overall opinion to its own side by using a specific influence budget during discrete-time advertising campaigns; consequently, the overall closed-loop dynamics becomes a linear-impulsive (hybrid) one. The main technical issue addressed is finding how the marketer should allocate its budget over time (through marketing campaigns) and over space (among the agents) such that the agents' opinion be as close as possible to a desired opinion; for instance, the marketer may prioritize certain agents over others based on their influence in the social graph. The corresponding space-time allocation problem is formulated and solved for several special cases of practical interest. Valuable insights can be extracted from our analysis. For instance, for most cases we prove that the marketer has an interest in investing most of its budget at the beginning of the process and that budget should be shared among agents according to the famous water-filling allocation rule. Numerical examples illustrate the analysis.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 10:48:42 AM
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Irinel-Constantin Morarescu, Vineeth Varma, Lucian Busoniu, Samson Lasaulce. Space-time budget allocation for marketing over social networks. IFAC Conference on Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems, ADHS 2018, Jul 2018, Oxford, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-01745260v2⟩

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