A note on ”Problem of exploration of online

social networks with interaction between research
nodes”
Aleksandra Tomi´c
Faculty of of Science, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
University in Novi Sad
Trg Dositeja Obradovi´ca 4
21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
tomaleks007@gmail.com
October 30, 2014
Abstract
In the recent paper Miˇskovi´c, S.: Problem of exploration of online social networks with interaction between research nodes. In: Proceedings of
the 11th Balkan Conference on Operations Research - BALCOR’2013, pp.
298–306 (2013), the author present an efficient exploration of an online
social network. The goal is to minimize the amount of time searching for
defined characteristics, while both connection parameters between user
and control nodes and interaction between control devices is taken under
consideration. A mathematical model is developed and solved by an iterated simulated annealing method (ISA). However, the author has made a
few mistakes that will be explained in detail in this paper.

Keywords: Location problems, Social networks, Combinatorial optimization.

1

Introduction

Online social networks are webs of relationships that grow from computermediated discussions. The webs grow from conversations among people who
share a common affinity (e.g., they work for the same company, department,
or in the same discipline) and who differ in other ways (e.g., they are in different locations, keep different hours, specialize in different disciplines, work for
different companies). When the people are distributed across time and space,
then these conversations need to take place online, over an intranet or private
internet forum. Online social networks are already at the heart of some very
popular Web sites. As the technology matures, more applications are likely
to emerge. It is also likely that social networking will play an important role
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in future personal and commercial online interaction, as well as the location
and organization of information and knowledge. Online social networks offer
the opportunity to a user to create its own profile and connect to other users
profiles on different ways: via declaration, acceptance, friendship, appreciation
(like), depreciation (dislike), etc. A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks
or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities,
backgrounds, or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of
additional services. In the recent paper Miˇskovi´c, S.: Problem of exploration of
online social networks with interaction between research nodes. In: Proceedings
of the 11th Balkan Conference on Operations Research - BALCOR’2013, pp.
298–306 (2013), the author present an efficient exploration of an online social
network and a mathematical model is developed and solved by an iterated simulated annealing method (ISA). However, the author has made a few mistakes
that will be explained in detail in the next section. This is not the unique case,
since the authors Stanimirovi´c and Miˇskovi´c already made many mistakes in
the paper [3] of what is written in the [2] and [5].

2

Problem definition

In this section is presented integer quadratic programming definition of the
problem defined in [1]:
∑∑
∑∑
min
eij · xij +
fjk · yjk
(1)
i∈M j∈N

j∈N k∈N

such that:
xij ≤ zj ,

f or all i ∈ M,
xij = 1,

f or all j ∈ N

f or all i ∈ M

(2)
(3)

j∈N

zj = p

(4)

j∈N

xik + zj ≤ 1,

f or all i ∈ M,

f or all j ∈ N

(5)

k:eik >eij

yjk ≤ zj · zk ,
∑∑

f or all j, k ∈ N
yjk = p − 1

j∈N k∈N

2

(6)
(7)

∑ ∑

yjk ≤ |N ′ | − 1,

f or all N ′ ⊆ N, 1 ≤ |N ′ | ≤ p

(8)

j∈N ′ k∈N ′

xij , yjk , zj ∈ {0, 1} ,

3

f or all i ∈ M,

f or all j, k ∈ N

(9)

Main results

Unfortunately, in the paper [1] indicates a high number of substantive errors.
On page 299. the problem is not properly defined, as a text definition (”bullet”s on page 299 ) indicates that a problem would be bi-objective, but integer
quadratic formulation shown that the problem of a single objective.
On page 300. in Example 1 is misstated optimal solution value as equal to
253 with established resource nodes tree 1 − 3 − 5 − 6. The first mistake is that
a given solution value is not supplied with the established resource nodes tree
1 − 3 − 5 − 6 but 6 − 1 − 3 − 5. Even greater mistake is that it is not the optimal
value! Correct optimal value is equal to 250 with established resource nodes
tree 6 − 1 − 3 − 2. User assignments are:
• Resource node 1: users 3, 4, 7 and 10;
• Resource node 2: users 1, 14 and 16;
• Resource node 3: users 12, 13 and 15;
• Resource node 6: users 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11.
Since neither the total enumeration technique and the iterated simulated annealing were unable to calculate the optimal small instance in Example 1, probably all presented optimal solutions and the computational results are wrong!
It is also very problematic that the iterated simulated annealing is capable to
reach optimal solutions, since it failed even to very small instances in Example
1.
On page 300. constraints (5) are completely unnecessary! Minimization of
objective function and non-negative exploration costs eij between established
resources but ensure that each user node is assigned to the established resource
node with minimal assignment costs between them.
On page 300. Integer quadratic formulation can be very easily linearized,
since it is quite evident that the conditions (6) are trivially become linear:
yjk ≤ 0.5 · zj + 0.5 · zk

f or all j, k ∈ N

(10)

On page 303, Conclusions section. Sentence ”Since instances with more
than 100 user nodes could not be solved to optimality by exact algorithm in a
reasonable execution time...” If in the largest instances l40 instead of p = 100
replace, for example, p = 3 so altered instance complete enumeration routinely
will solved in the achievable execution time, since the complexity is equal O(m ·

3

(n)

( )
9
) = O(2500 · 220
3 ) ≈ O(4.3 · 10 ), which sufficiently shows that the previous
sentence of section Conclusions is wrong.
Consider again the largest instance l40 and truncate matrix E to first m = 5
rows. Although m = 5 is much less than 100 user nodes, this instance certainly
will not be solved optimally
execution time since the
( ) in all your
( achievable
)
65
)
>
O(10
).
complexity is equal O(m · np ) = O(5 · 220
100
On pages 303-305, Conclusions section. Sentences ”Small average values of
the agap and σ on large-scale data set, with real dimensions with up to 2500 user
nodes, show stability of the algorithm, with the small average computational time
shows algorithm’s efficiency. Thus, the proposed ISA algorithm represents a
promising method for this and similar problems related to online social networks
involving large number of users.” is false, because ISA can not reach the optimal
solution even for very small instance from Example 1 with m = 16, n = 6, p =
4! Additionally, complexity of the problem is completely false presented that
depends crucially on the size of m, although it is clear that the complexity of
the problem depends crucially of size n and p and increases linearly with the
increase m.
On pages 304 and 305. Caption of Table 2 ”Results of EA and MA ...”
and caption of Table 3 ”Results of EA and MA on small-size data set” are not
correct. Shortcuts EA i MA does not exist in a given paper, but there are
shortcuts ET (total enumeration) and ISA (iterated simulated annealing).
Example 1 ([1]) . Consider a network with m = 16 user nodes, n = 6
potentialresource nodes and p = 4 established
resources:

83 24 31 63 53 72
 74 58 94 43 11 15 


 8 86 47 79 39 28 


 14 55 63 29 3 30 


 37 47 12 12 25 10 




 20 29 15 66 43 9 
0 87 75 95 90 47


 14 35 85 13 19 60 
 54 0
7 16 69 80 




 78 31 58 26 91 17 
 10 58 0 58 8 15 
, F = 

E=
 58 83 52 23 36 10 
 88 90 28 0 63 61 




 17 58 71 98 31 87 
 99 11 23 94 0 70 


 25 31 21 33 20 7 
8 64 30 67 48 0


 27 66 25 93 9 76 


 28 46 19 4 82 97 


 83 2 32 28 35 19 


 28 47 10 58 69 73 
33 24 94 81 54 64
p

4

Conclusions

In the paper [1] the problem of efficient exploration of data flow within an
online social network is considered and the mathematical model that minimizes
the total execution time of the process is developed. However, in the above

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sections it was shown that in the paper [1] there are very serious mistakes. It
would be good if the author tried to correct those flaws though, as listed in this
paper. Only then will be given a real contribution to solving the Problem of
exploration of online social networks with interaction between research nodes.

References
[1] Miˇskovi´c, S.: Problem of exploration of online social networks with interaction between research nodes. In: Proceedings of the 11th Balkan Conference
on Operations Research - BALCOR’2013, pp. 298–306 (2013)
[2] Petrovi´c A.: A new mixed integer linear programming formulation for
one problem of exploration of online social networks, URL http://www.
optimization-online.org/DB HTML/2014/05/4368.html
[3] Stanimirovi´c, Z.—Miˇskovi´c, S.: Efficient metaheuristic approaches for exploration of online social networks. In: W. Hu, N. Kaabouch (eds.) Big Data
Management, Technologies, and Applications, pp. 222–269. IGI Global,
Hershey, PA (2013)
[4] Stanimirovi´c, Z.—Miˇskovi´c, S.: A hybrid evolutionary algorithm for efficient exploration of online social networks, Computing and Informatics,
Vol. 33, 2014, No. 2, pp. 410–430
[5] Gaji´c, Z.: A several new mixed integer linear programming formulations for
exploration of online social networks. Working papers, Faculty of Technical
Sciences, University of Novi Sad (2014). URL http://www. optimizationonline.org/DB HTML/2014/04/4334.html

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