Regular Track

Session Regular-7

Social Networks, Pricing, Economics

9:00 AM — 10:30 AM EDT
Oct 21 Thu, 9:00 AM — 10:30 AM EDT

Personalized Pricing through User Profiling in Social Networks

Qinqi Lin (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China), Lingjie Duan (Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore) and Jianwei Huang (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China)

User profiling allows product sellers to identify users' willingness to pay and enable personalized pricing. However, users' information exploited in profiling is usually private and hard to obtain accurately due to users' privacy concerns. With the increasing popularity of social networks, where users reveal their private information through social interactions, more sellers today profile users through their social data. This paper is the first to study how a seller optimizes personalized pricing through user profiling on social networks, where users proactively react by controlling their social activities and information leakage. We formulate and analyze a dynamic Bayesian game played between users and the seller. First, users decide their social activities by trading off the social network benefit against the potential risk of revealing private information. Then, the seller exploits users' profiles to determine the personalized prices for the profiled users and a uniform price for the non-profiled users. It is challenging to analyze the Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium (PBE) of this game due to i) the randomness in user profiling, and ii) the coupling among users' activity levels and that between the seller's pricing decisions and users' social activities. Despite the difficulty, we propose to alternate backward induction and forward induction to successfully solve the PBE. We show the surprising result that users' activity levels do not monotonically decrease as the profiling technology improves. Instead, when user profiling is of high accuracy, the seller strategically chooses a high uniform price to stimulate their increased social activities to profile more users.

Social Influencer Selection by Budgeted Portfolio Optimization

Ricardo José López Dawn and Anastasios Giovanidis (Sorbonne Université, CNRS-LIP6, France)

Influencer marketing has become in the recent years a thriving industry that includes more than 1120 agencies worldwide and with a global market value expected to reach 15 billion dollars by 2022. The advertising problem that such agencies face is the following: given a monetary budget find a set of appropriate influencers on a social platform and recruit them to create a number of posts for the promotion of a certain product. The objective of the campaign is to maximize some impact metric, e.g. the number of impressions, the sales, or the audience reach. In this work, we present an original formulation of the budgeted campaign orchestration problem as a convex program, and further derive a near-optimal algorithm to solve it efficiently. The proposed algorithm has low computational complexity and can scale well for problems with large numbers (millions) of social users, encountered in real-world platforms. We apply our algorithm to a Twitter dataset and illustrate the optimal campaign performance for various metrics of interest.

Edgeconomics: Price Competition and Selfish Computation Offloading in Multi-Server Edge Computing Networks

Ziya Chen, Qian Ma (Sun Yat-sen University, China), Lin Gao Harbin Institute of Technology), and Xu Chen (Sun Yat-sen University, China)

As edge computing provides crucial support for delay-sensitive and computation-intensive applications, many business entities deploy their own edge servers to compete for users, which forms multi-server edge computing networks. However, no prior work studies the competition among heterogeneous edge servers and how the competition affects users' selfish computation offloading behaviors in such a network from an economic perspective. In this paper, we model the interactions between edge servers and users as a two-stage game. In Stage I, edge servers with heterogeneous marginal costs set their service prices to compete for users, and in Stage II, each user selfishly offloads its task to one of the edge servers or the remote cloud. Analyzing the equilibrium of the two-stage game is challenging due to edge servers' heterogeneity and the congestion effect caused by resource sharing among users. For users' selfish computation offloading game in Stage II and edge servers' price competition game in Stage I, we derive the explicit expression of the NE and the conditions for the uniqueness of NE. We show that at equilibrium, users only choose low-priced edge servers, and hence edge servers with low marginal costs can win the price competition, which reflects the improvement of economic efficiency in competitive markets. Moreover, it is surprising that the equilibrium prices do not monotonically increase with the task execution delay. This is because a long execution delay gives a chance to edge servers with high marginal costs to win the competition, which results in more fierce competition among edge servers.

Session Chair

Krishna Jagannathan (Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India)

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