Pub. online:25 Jul 2023Type:Statistical Data ScienceOpen Access
Journal:Journal of Data Science
Volume 21, Issue 3 (2023): Special Issue: Advances in Network Data Science, pp. 523–537
A/B testing is widely used for comparing two versions of a product and evaluating new proposed product features. It is of great importance for decision-making and has been applied as a golden standard in the IT industry. It is essentially a form of two-sample statistical hypothesis testing. Average treatment effect (ATE) and the corresponding p-value can be obtained under certain assumptions. One key assumption in traditional A/B testing is the stable-unit-treatment-value assumption (SUTVA): there is no interference among different units. It means that the observation on one unit is unaffected by the particular assignment of treatments to the other units. Nonetheless, interference is very common in social network settings where people communicate and spread information to their neighbors. Therefore, the SUTVA assumption is violated. Analysis ignoring this network effect will lead to biased estimation of ATE. Most existing works focus mainly on the design of experiment and data analysis in order to produce estimators with good performance in regards to bias and variance. Little attention has been paid to the calculation of p-value. We work on the calculation of p-value for the ATE estimator in network A/B tests. After a brief review of existing research methods on design of experiment based on graph cluster randomization and different ATE estimation methods, we propose a permutation method for calculating p-value based on permutation test at the cluster level. The effectiveness of the method against that based on individual-level permutation is validated in a simulation study mimicking realistic settings.