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ITA: Workshop '09 Keynote presentation
Keynote presentation

Cascading Behavior in Complex Networks

Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University

In many domains, the spread of information through a network can trigger forms of cascading behavior. We focus particularly on large social networks, where the flow of information or influence can be thought of as unfolding with the dynamics of an epidemic: as individuals become aware of new ideas, technologies, fads, rumors, or gossip, they have the potential to pass them on to their friends and colleagues, causing the resulting behavior to cascade through the network. We consider a collection of models for such phenomena proposed in the mathematical social sciences, as well as recent algorithmic work on the problem by computer scientists. Building on this, we discuss the implications of cascading behavior in a number of settings, relating the basic models to recent empirical studies of large-scale on-line network data.