A Component-Based Diffusion Model with Structural Diversity for Social Networks

Qing Bao, Kwok Wai CHEUNG, Yu ZHANG, Jiming LIU

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Diffusion on social networks refers to the process where opinions are spread via the connected nodes. Given a set of observed information cascades, one can infer the underlying diffusion process for social network analysis. The independent cascade model (IC model) is a widely adopted diffusion model where a node is assumed to be activated independently by any one of its neighbors. In reality, how a node will be activated also depends on how its neighbors are connected and activated. For instance, the opinions from the neighbors of the same social group are often similar and thus redundant. In this paper, we extend the IC model by considering that: 1) the information coming from the connected neighbors are similar and 2) the underlying redundancy can be modeled using a dynamic structural diversity measure of the neighbors. Our proposed model assumes each node to be activated independently by different communities (or components) of its parent nodes, each weighted by its effective size. An expectation maximization algorithm is derived to infer the model parameters. We compare the performance of the proposed model with the basic IC model and its variants using both synthetic data sets and a real-world data set containing news stories and Web blogs. Our empirical results show that incorporating the community structure of neighbors and the structural diversity measure into the diffusion model significantly improves the accuracy of the model, at the expense of only a reasonable increase in run-time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7437433
Pages (from-to)1078-1089
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Diffusion networks
  • Independent cascade model
  • social networks
  • Structural diversity


Dive into the research topics of 'A Component-Based Diffusion Model with Structural Diversity for Social Networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this