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Effectiveness variation in simulated school-based network interventions

Badham, Jennifer; Kee, Frank; Hunter, Ruth F.

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Frank Kee

Ruth F. Hunter


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.


Badham, J., Kee, F., & Hunter, R. F. (2019). Effectiveness variation in simulated school-based network interventions. Applied Network Science, 4(1), Article 70.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 2, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 23, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 29, 2021
Journal Applied Network Science
Publisher SpringerOpen
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Article Number 70


Published Journal Article (702 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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