Complex dynamics of social media emerge from the interaction between the patterns of social connectivity of users and the information exchanged along such social ties. Unveiling the underlying mechanisms that drive the evolution of online social systems requires a deep understanding of the interplay between these two aspects. Based on the case of the aNobii social network, an online service for book readers, we investigate the dynamics of link creation and the social influence phenomenon that may trigger information diffusion in the social graph. By confirming that social partner selection is strongly driven by structural, geographical, and topical proximity, we develop a machine-learning social link recommender for individual users trained on a set of features selected as best predictive out of several and we test it on the still widely unexplored domain of a network of interest.
Link creation and information spreading over social and communication ties in an interest-based online social network
Luca M Aiello, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Rossano Schifanella and Giancarlo Ruffo
EPJ Data Science 2012, 1:12 http://dx.doi.org/10.1140/epjds12