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Title: Optimal Network Design for the Spread of Cascades
Authors: Sheldon, Daniel
Dilkina, Bistra
Elmachtoub, Adam
Finseth, Ryan
Sabharwal, Ashish
Conrad, Jon
Gomes, Carla P.
Shmoys, David
Allen, Will
Amundsen, Ole
Vaughan, Buck
Keywords: computational sustainability
diffusion in networks
conservation planning
red-cockaded woodpecker
social networks
mixed-integer programming
sample average approximation
Issue Date: 10-Apr-2010
Abstract: We introduce a new optimization framework to maximize the expected spread of cascades in networks. Our model allows a rich set of actions that directly manipulate cascade dynamics by adding nodes or edges to the network. Our motivating application is one in spatial conservation planning, where a cascade models the dispersal of wild animals through a fragmented landscape. We propose a mixed integer programming (MIP) formulation that combines elements from network design and stochastic optimization. Our approach, evaluated on data obtained from a red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) conservation effort in southeastern United States, results in solutions with stochastic optimality guarantees and points to conservation strategies that are fundamentally different from naive approaches.
Appears in Collections:Computing and Information Science Technical Reports

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