Multi-Winner Contests for Strategic Diffusion in Social Networks
Strategic diffusion encourages participants to take active roles in promoting stakeholders’ agendas by rewarding successful referrals. As social media continues to transform the way people communicate, strategic diffusion has become a powerful tool for stakeholders to influence people’s decisions or behaviors for desired objectives. Existing reward mechanisms for strategic diffusion are usually either vulnerable to falsename attacks or not individually rational for participants that have made successful referrals. Here, we introduce a novel multi-winner contests (MWC) mechanism for strategic diffusion in social networks. The MWC mechanism satisfies several desirable properties, including false-name-proofness, individual rationality, budget constraint, monotonicity, and subgraph constraint. Numerical experiments on four real-world social network datasets demonstrate that stakeholders can significantly boost participants’ aggregated efforts with proper design of competitions. Our work sheds light on how to design manipulation-resistant mechanisms with appropriate contests.