Outward Influence and Cascade Size Estimation in Billion-scale Networks Journal Article uri icon



  • ; Estimating cascade size and nodes' influence is a fundamental task in social, technological, and biological networks. Yet this task is extremely challenging due to the sheer size and the structural heterogeneity of networks. We investigate a new influence measure, termed outward influence (OI), defined as the (expected) number of nodes that a subset of nodes S will activate, excluding the nodes in S. Thus, OI equals, the de facto standard measure, influence spread of S minus -S-. OI is not only more informative for nodes with small influence, but also, critical in designing new effective sampling and statistical estimation methods. Based on OI, we propose SIEA/SOIEA, novel methods to estimate influence spread/outward influence at scale and with rigorous theoretical guarantees. The proposed methods are built on two novel components 1) IICP an important sampling method for outward influence; and 2) RSA, a robust mean estimation method that minimize the number of samples through analyzing variance and range of random variables. Compared to the state-of-the art for influence estimation, SIEA is Ω(log; 4; n) times faster in theory and up to several orders of magnitude faster in practice. For the first time, influence of nodes in the networks of billions of edges can be estimated with high accuracy within a few minutes. Our comprehensive experiments on real-world networks also give evidence against the popular practice of using a fixed number, e.g. 10K or 20K, of samples to compute the ``ground truth'' for influence spread.;

publication date

  • September 18, 2017

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • March 19, 2018 5:32 AM

Full Author List

  • Nguyen HT; Nguyen TP; Vu TN; Dinh TN

author count

  • 4

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0163-5999

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 63

end page

  • 63


  • 45


  • 1