The Co-Evolution Model for Social Network Evolving and Opinion Migration

author: Yupeng Gu, Computer Science Department, University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA
published: Oct. 9, 2017,   recorded: August 2017,   views: 1035

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Almost all real-world social networks are dynamic and evolving with time, where new links may form and old links may drop, largely determined by the homophily of social actors (i.e., nodes in the network). Meanwhile, (latent) properties of social actors, such as their opinions, are changing along the time, partially due to social influence received from the network, which will in turn affect the network structure. Social network evolution and node property migration are usually treated as two orthogonal problems, and have been studied separately. In this paper, we propose a co-evolution model that closes the loop by modeling the two phenomena together, which contains two major components: (1) a network generative model when the node property is known; and (2) a property migration model when the social network structure is known. Simulation shows that our model has several nice properties: (1) it can model a broad range of phenomena such as opinion convergence (i.e., herding) and community-based opinion divergence; and (2) it allows us control the evolution via a set of factors such as social influence scope, opinion leader, and noise level. Finally, the usefulness of our model is demonstrated by an application of co-sponsorship prediction for legislative bills in Congress, which outperforms several state-of-the-art baselines.

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