Learning to Infer Social Ties in Large Network

author: Wenbin Tang, Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University
published: Oct. 3, 2011,   recorded: September 2011,   views: 3309


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In online social networks, most relationships are lack of meaning labels (e.g., "colleague" and "intimate friends"), simply because users do not take the time to label them. An interesting question is: can we automatically infer the type of social relationships in a large network? what are the fundamental factors that imply the type of social relationships? In this work, we formalize the problem of social relationship learning into a semi-supervised framework, and propose a Partially-labeled Pairwise Factor Graph Model (PLP-FGM) for learning to infer the type of social ties. We tested the model on three different genres of data sets: Publication, Email and Mobile. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed PLP-FGM model can accurately infer 92.7% of advisor-advisee relationships from the coauthor network (Publication), 88.0% of manager-subordinate relationships from the email network (Email), and 83.1% of the friendships from the mobile network (Mobile). Finally, we develop a distributed learning algorithm to scale up the model to real large networks.

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