Characterizing Information Spreading in Online Social Networks

Sai Zhang, Ke Xu, Xi Chen, Xue Liu

Online social networks (OSNs) are changing the way in which the information spreads throughout the Internet. A deep understanding of the information spreading in OSNs leads to both social and commercial benefits. In this paper, we characterize the dynamic of information spreading (e.g., how fast and widely the information spreads against time) in OSNs by developing a general and accurate model based on the Interactive Markov Chains (IMCs) and mean-field theory. This model explicitly reveals the impacts of the network topology on information spreading in OSNs. Further, we extend our model to feature the time-varying user behaviors and the ever-changing information popularity. The complicated dynamic patterns of information spreading are captured by our model using six key parameters. Extensive tests based on Renren's dataset validate the accuracy of our model, which demonstrate that it can characterize the dynamic patterns of video sharing in Renren precisely and predict future spreading tendency successfully.

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