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H-Index Manipulation by Merging Articles: Models, Theory, and Experiments

Manuel Sorge (TU Berlin)

An author's profile on Google Scholar consists of indexed articles and associated data, such as the number of citations and the H-index. The author is allowed to merge articles, which may affect the H-index. We analyze the parameterized complexity of maximizing the H-index using article merges. Herein, to model realistic manipulation scenarios, we define a compatability graph whose edges correspond to plausible merges. Moreover, we consider multiple possible measures for computing the citation count of a merged article. For the measure used by Google Scholar, we give an algorithm that maximizes the H-index in linear time if the compatibility graph has constant-size connected components. In contrast, if we allow to merge arbitrary articles, then already increasing the H-index by one is NP-hard. Experiments on Google Scholar profiles of AI researchers show that the H-index can be manipulated substantially only by merging articles with highly dissimilar titles, which would be easy to discover.

This is a joint work with Ren√© van Bevern, Christian Komusiewicz, Rolf Niedermeier, and Toby Walsh.

Manuel Sorge
TEL 512

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