Modeling Proliferation of Ideas in Online Social Networks

Ahmad, M. and Teredesai, A.

    Internet based online social networks collectively facilitate the spread of ideas. Hence, to understand how social networks evolve as a function of time, it is critical to learn the relationship between the information dissemination pathways or flows and the type of ideas being disseminated. We first classify the spread of ideas into two types based on their rate and nature of proliferation; fads and non-fads. A 'fad' refers to an idea that quickly becomes popular in a culture, remains popular for a brief period, and then loses popularity dramatically. We then model the information dissemination pathways for both these types of ideas. Our results indicate that the proliferation of information in a network strongly correlates with the the type of idea, the degree of participation of the nodes, and a node's availability i.e., presence. Further we derived that after reaching a certain saturation point, a fad exhibits periodic spreading behavior implying that a fad rarely completely disappears from a network. We use data from an instant messaging network community to verify the proposed theoretical modeling framework.
Cite as: Ahmad, M. and Teredesai, A. (2006). Modeling Proliferation of Ideas in Online Social Networks. In Proc. Fifth Australasian Data Mining Conference (AusDM2006), Sydney, Australia. CRPIT, 61. Peter, C., Kennedy, P. J., Li, J., Simoff, S. J. and Williams, G. J., Eds. ACS. 185-190.
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