Ranking algorithms are pervasive in our increasingly digitized societies, with important real-world applications including recommender systems, search engines, and influencer marketing practices. From a network science perspective, network-based ranking algorithms solve fundamental problems related to the identification of vital nodes for the stability and dynamics of a complex system. Despite the ubiquitous and successful applications of these algorithms, we argue that our understanding of their performance and their applications to real-world problems face three fundamental challenges: (i) Rankings might be biased by various factors; (2) their effectiveness might be limited to specific problems; and (3) agents' decisions driven by rankings might result in potentially vicious feedback mechanisms and unhealthy systemic consequences. Methods rooted in network science and agent-based modeling can help us to understand and overcome these challenges.
- Pub Date:
- May 2020
- Physics - Physics and Society;
- Computer Science - Computers and Society;
- Computer Science - Social and Information Networks
- Perspective article. 9 pages, 3 figures