AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Modeling Dynamic Multi-Topic Discussions in Online Forums
Hao Wu, Jiajun Bu, Chun Chen, Can Wang, Guang Qiu, Lijun Zhang, Jianfeng Shen

Last modified: 2010-07-05


In the form of topic discussions, users interact with each other to share knowledge and exchange information in online forums. Modeling the evolution of topic discussion reveals how information propagates on Internet and can thus help understand sociological phenomena and improve the performance of applications such as recommendation systems. In this paper, we argue that a user’s participation in topic discussions is motivated by either her friends or her own preferences. Inspired by the theory of information flow, we propose dynamic topic discussion models by mining influential relationships between users and individual preferences. Reply relations of users are exploited to construct the fundamental influential social network. The property of discussed topics and time lapse factor are also considered in our modeling. Furthermore, we propose a novel measure called ParticipationRank to rank users according to how important they are in the social network and to what extent they prefer to participate in the discussion of a certain topic. The experiments show our model can simulate the evolution of topic discussions well and predict the tendency of user’s participation accurately.


online forum; topic discussion; information flow; random walk; user modeling; social network; topic modeling

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