The Rate of Innovation Diffusion in Social Networks

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New technologies often take a long time to gain general acceptance after they have been invented. This phenomenon is called “diffusion of innovation.” It has been studied in various social science disciplines at least since the midst of the 20th century. Recent theoretic investigation used martingale to study the rate in which innovations diffuse. We apply a different approach based on an auxiliary backward process analysis. The new approach allows us to derive uniform upper bounds on the rate of innovation diffusion that were unachievable with the previous martingale techniques. As a teaser I will present an alternative elegant (may I say?) solution to an old puzzle of Benji Weiss, A Colorful Urn, based on our new approach.

Joint with Itai Arieli, Yakov Babichenko and Peyton Young.