Feedback effects between similarity and social influence in online communities
Crandall, D.; Cosley, D.; Huttenlocher, D.; Kleinberg, J.; and Suri, S. 2008. Feedback effects between similarity and social inﬂuence in online communities. Proc. 14th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.
This paper develop techniques for identifying and modeling the interactions between social inﬂuence and selection, using data from online communities where both social interaction and changes in behavior over time can be measured. It ﬁnds clear feedback eﬀects between the two factors, with rising similarity between two individuals serving, in aggregate, as an indicator of future interaction — but with similarity then continuing to increase steadily, although at a slower rate, for long periods after initial interactions. The authors also consider the relative value of similarity and social inﬂuence in modeling future behavior. For instance, to predict the activities that an individual is likely to do next, is it more useful to know the current activities of their friends, or of the people most similar to them?