A Multi-Transformation Evolutionary Framework for Influence Maximization in Social Networks

by   Chao Wang, et al.

Influence maximization is a key issue for mining the deep information of social networks, which aims to select a seed set from the network to maximize the number of influenced nodes. To evaluate the influence spread of a seed set efficiently, existing works have proposed some proxy models (transformations) with lower computational costs to replace the expensive Monte Carlo simulation process. These alternate transformations based on network prior knowledge induce different search behaviors with similar characteristics from various perspectives. For a specific case, it is difficult for users to determine a suitable transformation a priori. Keeping those in mind, we propose a multi-transformation evolutionary framework for influence maximization (MTEFIM) to exploit the potential similarities and unique advantages of alternate transformations and avoid users to determine the most suitable one manually. In MTEFIM, multiple transformations are optimized simultaneously as multiple tasks. Each transformation is assigned an evolutionary solver. Three major components of MTEFIM are conducted: 1) estimating the potential relationship across transformations based on the degree of overlap across individuals (seed sets) of different populations, 2) transferring individuals across populations adaptively according to the inter-transformation relationship, 3) selecting the final output seed set containing all the proxy model knowledge. The effectiveness of MTEFIM is validated on four real-world social networks. Experimental results show that MTEFIM can efficiently utilize the potentially transferable knowledge across multiple transformations to achieve highly competitive performance compared to several popular IM-specific methods. The implementation of MTEFIM can be accessed at https://github.com/xiaofangxd/MTEFIM.


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