Maximizing the Spread of Cascades Using Network Design

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Executive Summary

This paper introduces a new optimization framework to maximize the expected spread of cascades in networks. The model allows a rich set of actions that directly manipulate cascade dynamics by adding nodes or edges to the network. The motivating application is one in spatial conservation planning, where a cascade models the dispersal of wild animals through a fragmented landscape. The authors propose a mixed integer programming formulation that combines elements from network design and stochastic optimization.

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