Minimum Target Sets in Non-Progressive Threshold Models: When Timing Matters

by   Hossein Soltani, et al.

Let G be a graph, which represents a social network, and suppose each node v has a threshold value τ(v). Consider an initial configuration, where each node is either positive or negative. In each discrete time step, a node v becomes/remains positive if at least τ(v) of its neighbors are positive and negative otherwise. A node set 𝒮 is a Target Set (TS) whenever the following holds: if 𝒮 is fully positive initially, all nodes in the graph become positive eventually. We focus on a generalization of TS, called Timed TS (TTS), where it is permitted to assign a positive state to a node at any step of the process, rather than just at the beginning. We provide graph structures for which the minimum TTS is significantly smaller than the minimum TS, indicating that timing is an essential aspect of successful target selection strategies. Furthermore, we prove tight bounds on the minimum size of a TTS in terms of the number of nodes and maximum degree when the thresholds are assigned based on the majority rule. We show that the problem of determining the minimum size of a TTS is NP-hard and provide an Integer Linear Programming formulation and a greedy algorithm. We evaluate the performance of our algorithm by conducting experiments on various synthetic and real-world networks. We also present a linear-time exact algorithm for trees.


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