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Analyzing the dynamics of communication in online social networks

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This thesis deals with the analysis of interpersonal communication dynamics in online social networks and social media. Our central hypothesis is that communication dynamics between individuals manifest themselves via three key aspects: the information that is the content of communication,

This thesis deals with the analysis of interpersonal communication dynamics in online social networks and social media. Our central hypothesis is that communication dynamics between individuals manifest themselves via three key aspects: the information that is the content of communication, the social engagement i.e. the sociological framework emergent of the communication process, and the channel i.e. the media via which communication takes place. Communication dynamics have been of interest to researchers from multi-faceted domains over the past several decades. However, today we are faced with several modern capabilities encompassing a host of social media websites. These sites feature variegated interactional affordances, ranging from blogging, micro-blogging, sharing media elements as well as a rich set of social actions such as tagging, voting, commenting and so on. Consequently, these communication tools have begun to redefine the ways in which we exchange information, our modes of social engagement, and mechanisms of how the media characteristics impact our interactional behavior. The outcomes of this research are manifold. We present our contributions in three parts, corresponding to the three key organizing ideas. First, we have observed that user context is key to characterizing communication between a pair of individuals. However interestingly, the probability of future communication seems to be more sensitive to the context compared to the delay, which appears to be rather habitual. Further, we observe that diffusion of social actions in a network can be indicative of future information cascades; that might be attributed to social influence or homophily depending on the nature of the social action. Second, we have observed that different modes of social engagement lead to evolution of groups that have considerable predictive capability in characterizing external-world temporal occurrences, such as stock market dynamics as well as collective political sentiments. Finally, characterization of communication on rich media sites have shown that conversations that are deemed "interesting" appear to have consequential impact on the properties of the social network they are associated with: in terms of degree of participation of the individuals in future conversations, thematic diffusion as well as emergent cohesiveness in activity among the concerned participants in the network. Based on all these outcomes, we believe that this research can make significant contribution into a better understanding of how we communicate online and how it is redefining our collective sociological behavior.

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Date Created
2011

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Establishing distributed social network trust model in MobiCloud system

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This thesis proposed a novel approach to establish the trust model in a social network scenario based on users' emails. Email is one of the most important social connections nowadays. By analyzing email exchange activities among users, a social network

This thesis proposed a novel approach to establish the trust model in a social network scenario based on users' emails. Email is one of the most important social connections nowadays. By analyzing email exchange activities among users, a social network trust model can be established to judge the trust rate between each two users. The whole trust checking process is divided into two steps: local checking and remote checking. Local checking directly contacts the email server to calculate the trust rate based on user's own email communication history. Remote checking is a distributed computing process to get help from user's social network friends and built the trust rate together. The email-based trust model is built upon a cloud computing framework called MobiCloud. Inside MobiCloud, each user occupies a virtual machine which can directly communicate with others. Based on this feature, the distributed trust model is implemented as a combination of local analysis and remote analysis in the cloud. Experiment results show that the trust evaluation model can give accurate trust rate even in a small scale social network which does not have lots of social connections. With this trust model, the security in both social network services and email communication could be improved.

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Date Created
2011

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Efficient Node Proximity and Node Significance Computations in Graphs

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Node proximity measures are commonly used for quantifying how nearby or otherwise related to two or more nodes in a graph are. Node significance measures are mainly used to find how much nodes are important in a graph. The measures

Node proximity measures are commonly used for quantifying how nearby or otherwise related to two or more nodes in a graph are. Node significance measures are mainly used to find how much nodes are important in a graph. The measures of node proximity/significance have been highly effective in many predictions and applications. Despite their effectiveness, however, there are various shortcomings. One such shortcoming is a scalability problem due to their high computation costs on large size graphs and another problem on the measures is low accuracy when the significance of node and its degree in the graph are not related. The other problem is that their effectiveness is less when information for a graph is uncertain. For an uncertain graph, they require exponential computation costs to calculate ranking scores with considering all possible worlds.

In this thesis, I first introduce Locality-sensitive, Re-use promoting, approximate Personalized PageRank (LR-PPR) which is an approximate personalized PageRank calculating node rankings for the locality information for seeds without calculating the entire graph and reusing the precomputed locality information for different locality combinations. For the identification of locality information, I present Impact Neighborhood Indexing (INI) to find impact neighborhoods with nodes' fingerprints propagation on the network. For the accuracy challenge, I introduce Degree Decoupled PageRank (D2PR) technique to improve the effectiveness of PageRank based knowledge discovery, especially considering the significance of neighbors and degree of a given node. To tackle the uncertain challenge, I introduce Uncertain Personalized PageRank (UPPR) to approximately compute personalized PageRank values on uncertainties of edge existence and Interval Personalized PageRank with Integration (IPPR-I) and Interval Personalized PageRank with Mean (IPPR-M) to compute ranking scores for the case when uncertainty exists on edge weights as interval values.

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Date Created
2017