The Possibility of an Epidemic Meme Analogy for Web Community Population Analysis
The aim of this paper is to discuss the possibility of understanding human social interaction in web communities by analogy with a disease propagation model from epidemiology. When an article is submitted by an individual to a social web service, it is potentially influenced by other participants. The submission sometimes starts a long and argumentative chain of articles, but often does not. This complex behavior makes management of server resources difficult and a more theoretical methodology is required. This paper tries to express these complex human dynamics by analogy with infection by a virus. In this first report, by fitting an epidemiological model to Bulletin Board System (BBS) logs in terms of a numerical triple, we show that the analogy is reasonable and beneficial because the analogy can estimate the community size despite the submitter’s information alone being observable.
KeywordsKermack–McKendrick models SIR BBS SNS Web Mining
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