Spread-it: A strategic game of competitive diffusion through social networks

Shimon Ben-Ishay, Alon Sela, Irad E. Ben-Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Diffusion of information is a key factor in many social and political situations. This paper presents a strategic game called Spread-It, which models the spread of information through social network structures. In the game, two competing parties must decide on the allocation and timing of their limited resources with the goal of increasing their influence in the network. Since present decisions affect the future level of network penetration, their effort allocation must be carefully planned. The work starts by defining the mathematical characteristics of the game, followed by analytical results derived by implementing several strategies for winning the game. Analyzing the experiments provides few observations regarding the role of influencers (“hubs”) under different game conditions, the superiority of Monte Carlo tree search strategy over traditional game-tree search methods, and the budget required to guarantee the game's finalization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2806302
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Games
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • B2B marketing
  • Game theory
  • Information diffusion
  • Political games
  • Social network


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