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Analyzing the Dynamics of Communication in Online Social Networks

  • Munmun De Choudhury
  • Hari Sundaram
  • Ajita John
  • Doree Duncan Seligmann
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter deals with the analysis of interpersonal communication dynamics in online social networks and social media. Communication is central to the evolution of social systems. Today, the different online social sites feature variegated interactional affordances, ranging from blogging, micro-blogging, sharing media elements (i.e., image, video) as well as a rich set of social actions such as tagging, voting, commenting and so on. Consequently, these communication tools have begun to redefine the ways in which we exchange information or concepts, and how the media channels impact our online interactional behavior. Our central hypothesis is that such communication dynamics between individuals manifest themselves via two key aspects: the information or concept that is the content of communication, and the channel i.e., the media via which communication takes place. We present computational models and discuss large-scale quantitative observational studies for both these organizing ideas. First, we develop a computational framework to determine the “interestingness” property of conversations cented around rich media. Second, we present user models of diffusion of social actions and study the impact of homophily on the diffusion process. The outcome of this research is twofold. First, extensive empirical studies on datasets from YouTube have indicated that on rich media sites, the conversations that are deemed “interesting” appear to have consequential impact on the properties of the social network they are associated with: in terms of degree of participation of the individuals in future conversations, thematic diffusion as well as emergent cohesiveness in activity among the concerned participants in the network. Second, observational and computational studies on large social media datasets such as Twitter have indicated that diffusion of social actions in a network can be indicative of future information cascades. Besides, given a topic, these cascades are often a function of attribute homophily existent among the participants. We believe that this chapter can make significant contribution into a better understanding of how we communicate online and how it is redefining our collective sociological behavior.

Keywords

Time Slice Theme Model Hide State Dynamic Bayesian Network Theme Distribution 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munmun De Choudhury
    • 1
  • Hari Sundaram
  • Ajita John
  • Doree Duncan Seligmann
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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