In this paper, we consider a novel game theory model for the competitive influence maximization problem. We model this problem as a simultaneous non-cooperative game with complete information and rational players, where there are at least two players who are supposed to be out of the network and are trying to institutionalize their options in the social network; that is, the objective of players is to maximize the spread of a desired opinion rather than the number of infected nodes. In the proposed model, we extend both the Linear Threshold model and the Independent Cascade model. We study an influence maximization model in which users' heterogeneity, information content, and network structure are considered. Contrary to previous studies, in the proposed game, players find not only the most influential initial nodes but also the best information content. The proposed novel game was implemented on a real data set where individuals have different tendencies toward the players' options that change over time because of gaining influence from their neighbors and the information content they receive. This means that information content, the topology of the graph, and the individual's initial tendency significantly affect the diffusion process. The proposed game is solved and the Nash equilibrium is determined for a real data set. Lastly, the numerical results obtained from the proposed model were compared with some well-known models previously reported in the literature.
social network game theory information diffusion Nash equilibrium influence maximization problem