On the Social Influence in Human Behavior: Physical, Homophily, and Social Communities

  • Luca Luceri
  • Alberto Vancheri
  • Torsten Braun
  • Silvia Giordano
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 689)


Understanding the forces governing human behavior and social dynamics is a challenging problem. Individuals’ decisions and actions are affected by interlaced factors, such as physical location, homophily, and social ties. In this paper, we propose to examine the role that distinct communities, linked to these factors, play as sources of social influence. The ego network is typically used in the social influence analysis. Our hypothesis is that individuals are embedded in communities not only related to their direct social relationships, but that involve different and complex forces. We analyze physical, homophily, and social communities to evaluate their relation with subjects’ behavior. We prove that social influence is correlated with these communities, and each one of them is (differently) significant for individuals. We define community-based features, which reflect the subject involvement in these groups, and we use them with a supervised learning algorithm to predict subject participation in social events. Results indicate that both communities and ego network are relevant sources of social influence, confirming that the ego network alone is not sufficient to explain this phenomenon. Moreover, we classify users according to the degree of social influence they experienced with respect to their groups, recognizing classes of behavioral phenotypes. To our knowledge, this is the first work that proves the existence of phenotypes related to the social influence phenomenon.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Luceri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alberto Vancheri
    • 1
  • Torsten Braun
    • 2
  • Silvia Giordano
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)MannoSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of BernBernSwitzerland

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