Our recent paper about second order “Co-Following” on Twitter was accepted in ACM Hypertext 2014 (short paper). This is work that I did mostly while I was at QCRI, with Ingmar Weber. The idea is that two Twitter users whose followers have similar friends are similar, even though they might not share any common followers. The intuition behind why this works is that the friends of a user typically represent the interests of that user, and so if two Twitter users have followers who have similar interests, they might be similar. Continue reading
Understanding the mechanisms of influence and contagion in human interactions is a central focal point in today’s research, in computational social science, machine learning, and data mining. Quantifying the effects of social influence was the question behind the controversial recently-published facebook experiment, which aimed to show that emotional contagion occurs on social networks (the NYT’s article).