SMS scnews item created by Eduardo Altmann at Thu 28 Sep 2017 0709
Type: Seminar
Modified: Thu 28 Sep 2017 0713
Distribution: World
Expiry: 12 Oct 2017
Calendar1: 4 Oct 2017 1400-1500
CalLoc1: AGR Carslaw 829
CalTitle1: Information flows in online social networks
Auth: (egol5583) in SMS-WASM

Applied Maths Seminar

Information flows in online social networks


Dr. Lewis Mitchell (School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide)
Title: Information flows in online social networks
Abstract: The flow of information online is a significant factor in social contagion, rumour and “fake news” propagation, and protest organisation. Further, online social platforms provide a unique opportunity for computational social scientists to observe individuals’ spontaneous interactions over social ties, often through structural or temporal proxies for information. However, such approaches do not leverage the full extent of information available, namely the time-ordered textual content of messages. Here we apply information-theoretic techniques to social media data to identify the extent to which predictive information is encoded in social ties, and that in principle one can profile an individual from their contacts even if the individual is ``hidden'' within the network. Analysis of Twitter users shows that 95% of the potential predictive accuracy attainable for an individual is embedded within their social ties, and numerical simulations on a paradigmatic model of information flow shows that these techniques are robust.

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