Complexity of equilibrium in competitive diffusion games on social networks

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In this paper, we consider the competitive diffusion game, and study the existence of its pure-strategy Nash equilibrium when defined over general undirected networks. We first determine the set of pure-strategy Nash equilibria for two special but well-known classes of networks, namely the lattice and the hypercube. Characterizing the utility of the players in terms of graphical distances of their initial seed placements to other nodes in the network, we show that in general networks the decision process on the existence of pure-strategy Nash equilibrium is an NP-hard problem. Following this, we provide some necessary conditions for a given profile to be a Nash equilibrium. Furthermore, we study players' utilities in the competitive diffusion game over Erdos-Renyi random graphs and show that as the size of the network grows, the utilities of the players are highly concentrated around their expectation, and are bounded below by some threshold based on the parameters of the network. Finally, we obtain a lower bound for the maximum social welfare of the game with two players, and study sub-modularity of the players' utilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2016


  • Competitive diffusion game
  • Erdos-Renyi graphs
  • NP-hardness
  • Pure-strategy Nash equilibrium
  • Social welfare
  • Sub-modular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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