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People have tried to solve this problem using data:

For instance, look at the following work :

A. Goyal, F. Bonchi, L. V. S. Lakshmanan A Data-Based Approach to Social Influence Maximization In Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Very Large Databases (VLDB 2012) ŠVLDB EndowmentAugust 27-31, 2012, Istanbul, Turkey.




On Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 1:36 AM, mehrdad agha mohammad ali kerm <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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Dear All,
I hope this Email finds you well.

I'm Mehrdad, I have a question regarding my dissertation that I would be
appreciate if you could help me and give me your comments.

In my dissertation,I want to work on diffusion on social networks.

In details, I want to develop an optimization mathematical programming
model to maximize the diffusion of text message through selecting the
best
first contact nodes.

My data are gathered from a real social network in a uni-sex university
in
Iran. The network are based on a mobile phone contact list data. In this
data I have 162 nodes (students) and more than 3000 links.

I have read some papers in this field as Kempe's one, Kimura's one,
Chen's
one or Lescovec's.
I understand that in all works that have been done, there is not any
mathematical modeling for optimizing this problem and they have proposed
an approximation algorithm for optimizing the problem.

Is it a novel contribution to develop a mathematical programming
considering one of the the influence model such as independent Cascade
that is fit to the real situation in sending text messages?

I have a question, why did not any other scholars use the mathematical
programming?

Is it very complex? Or it has not any value?
I am confused with my work, please guide me.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks in advance for your time and help.

------------------
Best Regards
Mehrdad Kermani
PhD Candidate of Industrial Engineering
Iran University of Science and Technology

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