A hybrid epidemic model for deindividuation and antinormative behavior in online social networks

  • Cong Liao
  • Anna Squicciarini
  • Christopher Griffin
  • Sarah RajtmajerEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Diffusion of Information and Influence in Social Networks


With the increasing popularity of user-contributed sites, the phenomenon of “social pollution”, the presence of abusive posts has become increasingly prevalent. In this paper, we describe a novel approach to investigate negative behavior dynamics in online social networks as epidemic phenomena. We show that using hybrid automata, it is possible to explain the contagion of antinormative behavior in certain online commentaries. We present two variations of a finite-state machine model for time-varying epidemic dynamics, namely triggered state transition and iterative local regression, which differ with respect to accuracy and complexity.We validate the model with experiments over a dataset of 400,000 comments on 800 YouTube videos, classified by genre, and indicate how different epidemic patterns of behavior can be tied to specific interaction patterns among users.


Social Networking Site Epidemic Model Online Social Network Sentiment Analysis Abusive Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Portions of Dr. Griffin’s, Dr. Squicciarini’s and Dr. Rajtmajer’s work were supported by the Army Research Office under Grant W911NF-13-1-0271. Portions of Dr. Squicciarini’s work were additionally supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Grant Number FA9550-15-1-0149.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cong Liao
    • 1
  • Anna Squicciarini
    • 1
  • Christopher Griffin
    • 2
  • Sarah Rajtmajer
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Information Sciences and TechnologyPennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsUnited States Naval AcademyAnnapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsPennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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