Incentive Design for Heterogeneous User-Generated Content Networks
In User-Generated Content (UGC) networks, users produce content and share it with other users with which they are connected over an (exogenously-determined) underlying topology. Such networks thrive if their users produce a sufficiently large amount of content. However, it is widely observed that self-interested users tend to lurk, i.e. only passively receive content from users with whom they are connected, rather than actively produce content. This paper develops a systematic framework for designing rating systems aimed at deterring users in UGC networks from lurking, thereby significantly improving the social welfare of such networks.