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The benefits of social influence in optimized cultural markets

Abeliuk, Andres; Berbeglia, Gerardo; Cebrian, Manuel; Van Hentenryck, Pascal

Description

Social influence has been shown to create significant unpredictability in cultural markets, providing one potential explanation why experts routinely fail at predicting commercial success of cultural products. As a result, social influence is often presented in a negative light. Here, we show the benefits of social influence for cultural markets. We present a policy that uses product quality, appeal, position bias and social influence to maximize expected profits in the market. Our...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAbeliuk, Andres
dc.contributor.authorBerbeglia, Gerardo
dc.contributor.authorCebrian, Manuel
dc.contributor.authorVan Hentenryck, Pascal
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-08T00:43:36Z
dc.date.available2015-07-08T00:43:36Z
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/14251
dc.description.abstractSocial influence has been shown to create significant unpredictability in cultural markets, providing one potential explanation why experts routinely fail at predicting commercial success of cultural products. As a result, social influence is often presented in a negative light. Here, we show the benefits of social influence for cultural markets. We present a policy that uses product quality, appeal, position bias and social influence to maximize expected profits in the market. Our computational experiments show that our profit-maximizing policy leverages social influence to produce significant performance benefits for the market, while our theoretical analysis proves that our policy outperforms in expectation any policy not displaying social signals. Our results contrast with earlier work which focused on showing the unpredictability and inequalities created by social influence. Not only do we show for the first time that, under our policy, dynamically showing consumers positive social signals increases the expected profit of the seller in cultural markets. We also show that, in reasonable settings, our profit-maximizing policy does not introduce significant unpredictability and identifies "blockbusters". Overall, these results shed new light on the nature of social influence and how it can be leveraged for the benefits of the market.
dc.format20 pages
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science
dc.rights© 2015 Abeliuk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
dc.sourcePLOS ONE
dc.titleThe benefits of social influence in optimized cultural markets
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume10
dcterms.dateAccepted2015-02-09
dc.date.issued2015-04-01
local.identifier.absfor089999 - Information and Computing Sciences not elsewhere classified
local.identifier.ariespublicationa383154xPUB2433
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.plos.org/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationVan Hentenryck, P., Research School of Computer Science, The Australian National University
local.identifier.essn1932-6203
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpagee0121934
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage20
local.identifier.doi10.1371/journal.pone.0121934
local.identifier.absseo970108 - Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T07:25:41Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84926677312
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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