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Online content diffusion: a connection through the control of epidemics

Event Type
Decision and Control Lecture Series
301 CSL
May 14, 2013   10:00 am  
Professor Rachid El-Azouzi, University of Avignon, France
Angie Ellis


Online media constitute currently the largest share of Internet traffic. A large part of such traffic is generated by platforms that deliver user-generated content (UGC). This includes, among the other ones, YouTube and Vimeo for videos, Flickr and Instagram for images and all social networking platforms. In this work, we addressed several aspects in Social networks in particular for YouTube plateform.


We developed a model, based on game theoretical concepts and tools, for understanding how user¹s behaviour drives the evolution of popularity of a given content. The work is based on rational decision-making assumptions, whereby the users have to decide whether to see a given content or not. In the second part of this work, we focused on the recommendation system in boosting the popularity of videos. We first constructed a graph that captures the recommendation system in YouTube and studied empirically the relationship between the number of views of a video and the average number of views of the videos in its recommendation list. We then considered a user that browses through videos such that the video it chooses to watch a given time is selected randomly among the videos in its recommendation list. We studied the stability properties of this random process and we showed that the trajectory obtained does not contain cycles if the number of videos in the recommendation list is small (which is the case if the computer¹s screen is small). This study allow us to design a advertising strategy for a publisher or a company needs to disseminate a content containing the announcement of launching a new product, and aims to generate a buzz in advance of the release. This is known as viral marketing and it takes advantage of the personal referral or word of mouth campaign.  



Rachid El-Azouzi received the Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from the Mohammed V  University, Rabat, Morocco (2000). He joined INRIA (National Research Institute in Informatics and Control) Sophia Antipolis for post-doctoral and Research Engineer positions.  Since 2003, he has been a researcher at the University of Avignon, France. His research  interests are, Networking Games, Evolutionary games, Delay Tolerant Networks, Mean field and  social networks and their control. He is actually on sabbatical leave for the 2012-2013 academic year, in the department of EECS at university of California in Berkeley.

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