Tracking systematic influence between groups of agents

We wish to know if there exist some groups whose content are synchronized with or influenced by some other groups — the influence is understood here as the fact that (i) the use by some groups of sources of a given term precedes at a later time a usage of this very term in some other groups, and that (ii) this sort of relationship can be observed on several terms. In other words, we look for dynamic patterns on correlated topic appearances, which are actually intertemporal patterns.

Article: Jean-Philippe Cointet, Emmanuel Faure, Camille Roth (2007) Intertemporal topic correlations in online media. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM 2007).

Abstract: We address the issue of intertemporal topic correlations in a selection of online media consisting of political weblogs and press website content. We wish to investigate in which way various information sources may be correlated, therefore preceding and maybe influencing each other. We use hidden Markov modeling to exhibit dynamic relationships in topic occurrences between distinct groups of weblogs; thereby considering topic distributions over weblog groups as system states, looking for minimal causal states, and exhibiting their transition probabilities. Beyond behavioral correlations between some groups of blogs and online media, we also identify varied and richer types of inter-group patterns. In particular, using a very compact description, we could infer interpretations as to how diverse groups of blogs behave with respect to each other as regards raising and discussing issues.

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short communication from science et vie (in french)

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Tags: blogs, influence