Long Ties Accelerate Realistic Complex Contagions

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Event Calendar Category

LIDS & Stats Tea

Speaker Name

Amin Rahimian



Building and Room Number

LIDS Lounge


The spread of behaviors (i.e. social contagion) depends on the structure of the network of contacts between people. Interventions that change network structure can thus substantially affect how new ideas, products, and conventions are adopted. For simple contagion models borrowed from an epidemic spread, highly clustered networks slow spread compared with more random networks, such that interventions that randomly rewire edges would increase spread.

However, for other contagion models that require multiple exposures before adoption (i.e. complex contagions), such as those motivated by myopic best-reply in games with strategic complements, recent work has argued for the opposite conclusion: highly clustered, rather than random, networks facilitate spread. Here we show that slight modifications of prior analyses, which make them more realistic, reverse this result. Joint work with Dean Eckles, Elchanan Mossel, and Subhabrata Sen.