Effectiveness variation in simulated school-based network interventions

Jennifer Badham, Frank Kee, Ruth Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Previous simulation studies have found that starting with high
degree seeds leads to faster and more complete diffusion over networks. However, there are few studies and none have used networks that are relevant to a school setting.

Methods: We construct 17 networks from friendship nominations in schools and
simulate diffusion from a seed group of 15% of the students. That seed group is
constructed with seven different approaches (referred to as interventions). The
effectiveness of the intervention is measured by the proportion of simulated
students reached and the time taken.

Results: Seed groups comprising popular students are effective compared to
other interventions across a range of measures and simulated contagions. As
operationalised, selecting persuasive students is also effective for many simulation scenarios. However, this intervention is not strictly comparable with the others tested.

Conclusions: Consistent with previous simulation studies, using popular students as a seed group is a robust approach to optimising network interventions in schools. In addition, researchers should consider supplementing the seed group with influential students.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Network Science
Early online date23 Sep 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 23 Sep 2019

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