H-Index Manipulation by Merging Articles: Models, Theory, and Experiments / 808
René van Bevern, Christian Komusiewicz, Rolf Niedermeier, Manuel Sorge, Toby Walsh
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.