The popularity of social media has generated abundant large-scale social networks, which advances research on network analytics. Good representations of nodes in a network can facilitate many network mining tasks. The goal of network representation learning (network embedding) is to learn low-dimensional vector representations of social network nodes that capture certain properties of the networks. With the learned node representations, machine learning and data mining algorithms can be applied for network mining tasks such as link prediction and node classification. Because of its ability to learn good node representations, network representation learning is attracting increasing attention and various network embedding algorithms are proposed.
Despite the success of these network embedding methods, the majority of them are dedicated to static plain networks, i.e., networks with fixed nodes and links only; while in social media, networks can present in various formats, such as attributed networks, signed networks, dynamic networks and heterogeneous networks. These social networks contain abundant rich information to alleviate the network sparsity problem and can help learn a better network representation; while plain network embedding approaches cannot tackle such networks. For example, signed social networks can have both positive and negative links. Recent study on signed networks shows that negative links have added value in addition to positive links for many tasks such as link prediction and node classification. However, the existence of negative links challenges the principles used for plain network embedding. Thus, it is important to study signed network embedding. Furthermore, social networks can be dynamic, where new nodes and links can be introduced anytime. Dynamic networks can reveal the concept drift of a user and require efficiently updating the representation when new links or users are introduced. However, static network embedding algorithms cannot deal with dynamic networks. Therefore, it is important and challenging to propose novel algorithms for tackling different types of social networks.
In this dissertation, we investigate network representation learning in social media. In particular, we study representative social networks, which includes attributed network, signed networks, dynamic networks and document networks. We propose novel frameworks to tackle the challenges of these networks and learn representations that not only capture the network structure but also the unique properties of these social networks.