From ego-networks to online social networks

Type: 

  • Data Science Colloquium

Series: 

  • 2017/2018

Speaker: 

Marco Conti, National Research Council of Italy

Date: 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 13:00 to 14:30

Location: 

Aula A-32, IIT-CNR, Area della Ricerca CNR, via Moruzzi 1, Pisa, Italy

Ego networks models describe the social relationships of an individual (ego) with its social peers (alters). The structural properties of ego networks are known to determine many aspects of the human social behavior, such as willingness to cooperate and share resources. Due to their importance, we have investigated if Online Social Networks fundamentally change the structures of human ego networks or not. In this presentation we discuss the main results we have obtained through this analysis. Specifically, by analysing several datasets in Facebook and Twitter, we have found that OSN ego networks show the same qualitative and quantitative properties of human ego networks in general, and therefore that, somewhat counter-intuitively, OSNs are just “yet another”social communication means which does not change the fundamental properties of personal social networks. Moreover, in this presentation we also discuss the impact of ego network structures on information diffusion in OSNs. We show that, by considering the structural properties of ego networks, it is possible to accurately model information diffusion both over individual social links, as well at the entire network level, i.e., it is possible to accurately model information “cascades”. Moreover, we have analyzed how trusted information diffuses in OSNs, assuming that the tie strength between nodes (which, in turn, determines the structure of ego networks) is a good proxy to measure the reciprocal trust.

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