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Identify Your Influencers

Online Social Networks can be Tipped by as Little as 0.8% of their Population

The spreading of a trend or behavior in a social network is a very active area of research.  One very important model of trend spreading is the “tipping” model.  With tipping, an individual in a network adopts a trend if at least half (or some other proportion) of his or her friends have previously done so.  An important problem in viral marketing is to find a “seed set” of individuals in the social network.  If all members of a “seed set” in a social network initially adopt a certain trend, then a cascade initiates through the tipping model which results in the entire population adopting that trend.  So, if a viral marketer wants to provide free samples of a product to certain individuals, a seed set is likely a good place to start.

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