Using social networks to aid homeless shelters: Dynamic influence maximization under uncertainty

Amulya Yadav, Hau Chan, Albert Jiang, Haifeng Xu, Eric Rice, Milind Tambe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents HEALER, a software agent that recommends sequential intervention plans for use by homeless shelters, who organize these interventions to raise awareness about HIV among homeless youth. HEALER's sequential plans (built using knowledge of social networks of homeless youth) choose intervention participants strategically to maximize influence spread, while reasoning about uncertainties in the network. While previous work presents influence maximizing techniques to choose intervention participants, they do not address three real-world issues: (i) they completely fail to scale up to real-world sizes; (ii) they do not handle deviations in execution of intervention plans; (iii) constructing real-world social networks is an expensive process. HEALER handles these issues via four major contributions: (i) HEALER casts this influence maximization problem as a POMDP and solves it using a novel planner which scales up to previously unsolvable real-world sizes; (ii) HEALER allows shelter officials to modify its recommendations, and updates its future plans in a deviation-tolerant manner; (iii) HEALER constructs social networks of homeless youth at low cost, using a Facebook application. Finally, (iv) we show hardness results for the problem that HEALER solves. HEALER will be deployed in the real world in early Spring 2016 and is currently undergoing testing at a homeless shelter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAAMAS 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
PublisherInternational Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS)
Pages740-748
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450342391
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event15th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2016 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: May 9 2016May 13 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS
ISSN (Print)1548-8403
ISSN (Electronic)1558-2914

Other

Other15th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2016
CountrySingapore
CitySingapore
Period5/9/165/13/16

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Yadav, A., Chan, H., Jiang, A., Xu, H., Rice, E., & Tambe, M. (2016). Using social networks to aid homeless shelters: Dynamic influence maximization under uncertainty. In AAMAS 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (pp. 740-748). (Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS). International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS).