AAAI Publications, Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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Modelling Action Cascades in Social Networks
Kushal Shailesh Dave, Rushi Bhatt, Vasudeva Varma

Last modified: 2011-07-05

Abstract


The central idea in designing various marketing strategies for online social networks is to identify the influencers in the network. The influential individuals induce ``word-of-mouth" effects in the network. These individuals are responsible for triggering long cascades of influence that convince their peers to perform a similar action (buying a product, for instance). Targeting these influentials usually leads to a vast spread of the information across the network. Hence it is important to identify such individuals in a network. One way to measure an individual's influencing capability on its peers is by its reach for a certain action. We formulate identifying the influencers in a network as a problem of predicting the average depth of cascades an individual can trigger. We first empirically identify factors that play crucial role in triggering long cascades. Based on the analysis, we build a model for predicting the cascades triggered by a user for an action. The model uses features like influencing capabilities of the user and their friends, influencing capabilities of the particular action and other user and network characteristics. Experiments show that the model effectively improves the predictions over several baselines.

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