Competitive and Collaborative Influence in Social Networks

  • Qi Qi
  • Wen-Wei Wang
  • Ling-Fei YuEmail author


We consider revenue maximization in viral marketing of competitive and collaborative products through social networks, focusing on the word-of-mouth effect on personal decisions in adopting products, technologies, or Internet applications. In our model, each advertiser submits its value per consumer, and its total budget. The publisher pays a selected set of users on social networks as seed nodes. It demands a payment (equal to its value) from an advertiser for each influenced node in social networks. The publisher’s revenue equals to the total payment from the influenced users minus its cost of seed nodes. In this paper, we study the efficient allocation problem of the publisher to maximize its revenue. Our work is motivated by recent extensive studies on influence models for social networks. It has been noted that the promoted products could either be competitive or complementary such as Kindle versus Nook e-reader or Kindle cover with Kindle, respectively. Our models evaluate the revenue/cost effect of marketing those types of products through a social network, focusing on the issues of revenue maximization and complementary and competitive effects of products on each other. We take the algorithmic complexity approach for revenue maximization under those models and prove NP-hardness, non-approximability results for general structures, and polynomial time algorithms and applications for special classes of networks.


Revenue maximization Social network WOM Complexity 

Mathematics Subject Classification

68Q25 90B15 91B26 


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Copyright information

© Operations Research Society of China, Periodicals Agency of Shanghai University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial Engineering and Decision AnalyticsHong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong KongChina
  2. 2.Hangzhou College Of CommerceZhejiang Gongshang UniversityHangzhouChina

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