An Influence-Receptivity Model for Topic based Information Cascades

by   Ming Yu, et al.

We consider the problem of estimating the latent structure of a social network based on observational data on information diffusion processes, or cascades. Here for a given cascade, we only observe the time a node/agent is infected but not the source of infection. Existing literature has focused on estimating network diffusion matrix without any underlying assumptions on the structure of the network. We propose a novel model for inferring network diffusion matrix based on the intuition that an information datum is more likely to propagate among two nodes if they are interested in similar topics, which are common with the information. In particular, our model endows each node with an influence vector (how authoritative they are on each topic) and a receptivity vector (how susceptible they are on each topic). We show how this node-topic structure can be estimated from observed cascades. The estimated model can be used to build recommendation system based on the receptivity vectors, as well as for marketing based on the influence vectors.


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