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Efficient Testing of Spreading Behavior in Networks with Arbitrary Topologies


Core Concepts
Given the full topology of a network, it is possible to efficiently test if the network is evolving according to a local rule or is far from doing so.
Abstract
The paper focuses on testing the spreading behavior of networks with arbitrary topologies, specifically the 1-BP (1-bootstrap percolation) rule. The key insights are: For the case of testing a single time step (T=2), the authors provide both upper and lower bounds on the query complexity. They show that a simple algorithm with query complexity O(Δ/ε) is optimal up to Δ = O(√n), where Δ is the maximum degree and n is the number of nodes. For larger Δ, they present a more complex adaptive algorithm with query complexity ˜O(√n/ε). For the case of testing multiple time steps (T>2), the authors provide two algorithms. The first has query complexity O(ΔT-1/εT), which is useful when T = O(log Δn). The second has query complexity ˜O(|E|/εT), which is non-trivial when T = ω(√(Δ/ε) log n) (or T = ω(√Δ/ε) if the graph excludes a fixed minor). The authors also provide lower bounds for both one-sided and two-sided error testers in the T=2 case, which match the upper bounds up to certain regimes of Δ. The algorithms are designed to be as non-adaptive and time-conforming as possible, as these properties are desirable in the context of testing the evolution of large networks.
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Key Insights Distilled From

by Augusto Moda... at arxiv.org 04-22-2024

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2309.05442.pdf
Testing Spreading Behavior in Networks with Arbitrary Topologies

Deeper Inquiries

Can the gap between the upper and lower bounds for the T=2 case and large Δ be further reduced, perhaps by obtaining a non-adaptive or time-conforming algorithm with the same query complexity as the adaptive one

To reduce the gap between the upper and lower bounds for the T=2 case and large Δ, it may be possible to explore alternative algorithmic strategies. One approach could involve devising a non-adaptive algorithm that maintains the same query complexity as the adaptive one. This could potentially be achieved by refining the sampling and querying techniques used in the adaptive algorithm to adapt them for a non-adaptive setting. By carefully designing the algorithm to efficiently gather information and make decisions without adaptiveness, it might be feasible to bridge the existing gap between the upper and lower bounds for large Δ in the T=2 case.

Are there counter-arguments to the assumptions made in this work, such as the requirement of full knowledge of the network topology or the focus on the 1-BP rule

Counter-arguments to the assumptions made in the work could revolve around the practicality and realism of the full knowledge of network topology requirement. In real-world scenarios, complete knowledge of network structures may not always be feasible or available, leading to challenges in implementing the proposed algorithms. To address this, the problem could be generalized by considering partial knowledge of the network topology or exploring algorithms that can adapt to dynamic changes in the network structure. Additionally, focusing solely on the 1-BP rule may limit the applicability of the findings to other spreading dynamics or rules present in real-world networks. Generalizing the problem to accommodate a wider range of rules and dynamics could enhance the relevance and applicability of the research findings to diverse network scenarios.

How could the problem be generalized to relax these assumptions

The techniques developed in this work could be extended to study the testing complexity of other spreading rules or dynamics in networks by adapting the algorithms and analysis to suit the specific characteristics of the rules under consideration. For instance, exploring the testing complexity of the majority rule or more general bootstrap percolation models could involve modifying the querying strategies and violation detection mechanisms to align with the unique properties of these rules. By applying similar algorithmic principles and analytical frameworks to different spreading rules, researchers can gain insights into the testing behavior and efficiency across a broader spectrum of network dynamics, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of spreading phenomena in networks.
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