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postgraduate thesis: Temporal modeling of information diffusion in online social networks

TitleTemporal modeling of information diffusion in online social networks
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Li, VOK
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Niu, G. [牛国林]. (2014). Temporal modeling of information diffusion in online social networks. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317018
AbstractThe rapid development of online social networks (OSNs) renders them a powerful platform for information diffusion on a massive scale. OSNs generate enormous propagation traces. An important question is how to model the real-world information diffusion process. Although considerable studies have been conducted in this field, the temporal characteristics have not been fully addressed yet. This thesis addresses the issue of modeling the temporal dynamics of the information diffusion process. Based on empirical findings drawn from large-scale propagation traces of a popular OSN in China, we demonstrate that the temporal characteristics has a significant impact on the diffusion dynamics. Hence, a series of new temporal information diffusion models have been proposed by incorporating these temporal features. Experimental results demonstrate that these proposed models are more accurate and practical than existing discrete diffusion models. Moreover, one application of information diffusion models, i.e., the revenue maximization problem, is studied. Specifically, the thesis consists of three major parts: 1) preliminaries, i.e., introduction of research platform and collected dataset, 2) modeling social influence diffusion from three different temporal aspects, and 3) monetizing OSNs through designing intelligent pricing strategies in the diffusion process to realize the goal of revenue maximization. Firstly, the research platform is introduced and the statistical properties of the data derived from this platform are investigated. We choose Renren, the dominant social network website in China, as our research platform and study its information propagation mechanisms. Specifically, we concentrate on the propagation of “sharing video” behaviors, and collect data on more than 2.8 million Renren users and over 209 million diffusion traces. The analysis result shows that the video access patterns in OSNs differ significantly from Youtube-like systems, which makes understanding the video propagation behaviors in OSNs an important research task. Secondly, the temporal modeling of information diffusion is explored. By investigating temporal features using real diffusion traces, we find that three factors should be considered in building realistic diffusion models, including, information propagation latency, multiple influential sources and user diversities. We then develop models to explain the information propagation process by incorporating these factors, and demonstrate that the models reflect reality well. Finally, revenue maximization in the information diffusion process is studied. Specifically, the pricing factor is explicitly incorporated into the product diffusion process. To realize the goal of revenue maximization, we develop a Dynamic Programming Based Heuristic (DPBH) to obtain the optimal pricing sequence. Application of the DPBH in the revenue maximization problem shows that it performs well in both the expected revenue achieved and in running time. This leads to fundamental ramifications to many related OSN marketing applications.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectOnline social networks
Dept/ProgramElectrical and Electronic Engineering
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206478

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLi, VOK-
dc.contributor.authorNiu, Guolin-
dc.contributor.author牛国林-
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-31T23:15:59Z-
dc.date.available2014-10-31T23:15:59Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationNiu, G. [牛国林]. (2014). Temporal modeling of information diffusion in online social networks. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317018-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206478-
dc.description.abstractThe rapid development of online social networks (OSNs) renders them a powerful platform for information diffusion on a massive scale. OSNs generate enormous propagation traces. An important question is how to model the real-world information diffusion process. Although considerable studies have been conducted in this field, the temporal characteristics have not been fully addressed yet. This thesis addresses the issue of modeling the temporal dynamics of the information diffusion process. Based on empirical findings drawn from large-scale propagation traces of a popular OSN in China, we demonstrate that the temporal characteristics has a significant impact on the diffusion dynamics. Hence, a series of new temporal information diffusion models have been proposed by incorporating these temporal features. Experimental results demonstrate that these proposed models are more accurate and practical than existing discrete diffusion models. Moreover, one application of information diffusion models, i.e., the revenue maximization problem, is studied. Specifically, the thesis consists of three major parts: 1) preliminaries, i.e., introduction of research platform and collected dataset, 2) modeling social influence diffusion from three different temporal aspects, and 3) monetizing OSNs through designing intelligent pricing strategies in the diffusion process to realize the goal of revenue maximization. Firstly, the research platform is introduced and the statistical properties of the data derived from this platform are investigated. We choose Renren, the dominant social network website in China, as our research platform and study its information propagation mechanisms. Specifically, we concentrate on the propagation of “sharing video” behaviors, and collect data on more than 2.8 million Renren users and over 209 million diffusion traces. The analysis result shows that the video access patterns in OSNs differ significantly from Youtube-like systems, which makes understanding the video propagation behaviors in OSNs an important research task. Secondly, the temporal modeling of information diffusion is explored. By investigating temporal features using real diffusion traces, we find that three factors should be considered in building realistic diffusion models, including, information propagation latency, multiple influential sources and user diversities. We then develop models to explain the information propagation process by incorporating these factors, and demonstrate that the models reflect reality well. Finally, revenue maximization in the information diffusion process is studied. Specifically, the pricing factor is explicitly incorporated into the product diffusion process. To realize the goal of revenue maximization, we develop a Dynamic Programming Based Heuristic (DPBH) to obtain the optimal pricing sequence. Application of the DPBH in the revenue maximization problem shows that it performs well in both the expected revenue achieved and in running time. This leads to fundamental ramifications to many related OSN marketing applications.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshOnline social networks-
dc.titleTemporal modeling of information diffusion in online social networks-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5317018-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineElectrical and Electronic Engineering-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5317018-

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