Reconstructing Parameters of Spreading Models from Partial Observations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Andrey Lokhov


Spreading processes are often modelled as a stochastic dynamics occurring on top of a given network with edge weights corresponding to the transmission probabilities. Knowledge of veracious transmission probabilities is essential for prediction, optimization, and control of diffusion dynamics. Unfortunately, in most cases the transmission rates are unknown and need to be reconstructed from the spreading data. Moreover, in realistic settings it is impossible to monitor the state of each node at every time, and thus the data is highly incomplete. We introduce an efficient dynamic message-passing algorithm, which is able to reconstruct parameters of the spreading model given only partial information on the activation times of nodes in the network. The method is generalizable to a large class of dynamic models, as well to the case of temporal graphs.