Network Dynamics: A Social Influence Perspective

Doctoral Dissertation


What drives the propensity for the social network dynamics? Social influence is believed to drive both off-line and on-line human behavior, however it has not been considered as a driver of social network evolution. To answer this question, we integrate microscopic and macroscopic analysis that describe the connection between social influence and network dynamics and validate our proposition through several important applications. At microscopic level, we test whether or not the dynamics of individuals embedded in social networks can be attributed to the effects of social influence. Influence based methods are demonstrated to be able to accurately predict future node degree centrality and novel links. At macroscopic level, we also examine whether several promulgated macroscopic properties of social networks are the consequences of social influence spreading. we develop a novel model of network evolution where the dynamics of network follow the mechanism of influence propagation, which are not captured by the existing network evolution models. Our experiments confirm the predictions of our model and demonstrate the important role that social influence can play in the process of network evolution. These findings and methods are essential to both our understanding of the mechanisms that drive network evolution and our knowledge of the role of social influence in shaping the network structure.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04152015-133244

Author Yang Yang
Advisor Nitesh V. Chawla
Contributor Nitesh V. Chawla, Committee Chair
Contributor Zoltan Toroczkai, Committee Member
Contributor Omar Lizardo, Committee Member
Contributor Dong Wang, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Computer Science and Engineering
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Defense Date
  • 2015-04-10

Submission Date 2015-04-15
  • United States of America

  • link prediction

  • social network analysis

  • social influence

  • social network evolution

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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