Social networks play a fundamental role in the diffusion of information. However, there are two different ways of how information reaches a person in a network. Information reaches us through connections in our social networks, as well as through the influence of external out-of-network sources, like the mainstream media. While most present models of information adoption in networks assume information only passes from a node to node via the edges of the underlying network, the recent availability of massive online social media data allows us to study this process in more detail. We present a model in which information can reach a node via the links of the social network or through the influence of external sources.
Information Diffusion and External Influence in Networks
Seth A. Myers, Chenguang Zhu, Jure Leskovec