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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines models of diffusion in networks, and specifically how the topology of the network impacts the spreading process. The chapter begins by discussing epidemiological models and how stochastic dominance relations can be used to understand the effect of the degree distribution of the network. The chapter then turns to more sophisticated models of social influence, including threshold models and models of social learning. A key insight that emerges from the collection of models discussed is that not only does network structure matter, but how the network matters depends on the way in which agents influence one another. Network features that facilitate contagion under one model of influence can inhibit diffusion in another. The chapter concludes with thoughts on directions for future research.

Keywords: diffusion, contagion, configuration model, percolation, stochastic dominance

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