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Effectiveness variation in simulated school-based network interventions

Badham, Jennifer and Kee, Frank and Hunter, Ruth F. (2019) 'Effectiveness variation in simulated school-based network interventions.', Applied network science., 4 (1). p. 70.


Background: Previous simulation studies have found that starting with high degree seeds leads to faster and more complete diffusion over networks. However, there are few studies and none have used networks that are relevant to a school setting. Methods: We construct 17 networks from friendship nominations in schools and simulate diffusion from a seed group of 15% of the students. That seed group is constructed with seven different approaches (referred to as interventions). The effectiveness of the intervention is measured by the proportion of simulated students reached and the time taken. Results: Seed groups comprising popular students are effective compared to other interventions across a range of measures and simulated contagions. As operationalised, selecting persuasive students is also effective for many simulation scenarios. However, this intervention is not strictly comparable with the others tested. Conclusions: Consistent with previous simulation studies, using popular students as a seed group is a robust approach to optimising network interventions in schools. In addition, researchers should consider supplementing the seed group with influential students.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:02 July 2019
Date deposited:29 September 2021
Date of first online publication:23 July 2019
Date first made open access:29 September 2021

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