Section: New Results

Computational Human Dynamics and Temporal Networks

Participants : Márton Karsai, Sébastien Lerique, Jacobo Levy Abitbol, Samuel Unicomb, Sicheng Dai.

Optimal Proxy Selection for Socioeconomic Status Inference on Twitter

Participants : Márton Karsai, Jacobo Levy Abitbol.

The socioeconomic status of people depends on a combination of individual characteristics and environmental variables, thus its inference from online behavioral data is a difficult task. Attributes like user semantics in communication, habitat, occupation, or social network are all known to be determinant predictors of this feature. In this paper we propose three different data collection and combination methods to first estimate and, in turn, infer the socioeconomic status of French Twitter users from their online semantics. Our methods are based on open census data, crawled professional profiles, and remotely sensed, expert annotated information on living environment. Our inference models reach similar performance of earlier results with the advantage of relying on broadly available datasets and of providing a generalizable framework to estimate socioeconomic status of large numbers of Twitter users. These results may contribute to the scientific discussion on social stratification and inequalities, and may fuel several applications. [19]

Randomized reference models for temporal networks

Participant : Márton Karsai.

In this paper we propose a unified framework for classifying and understanding microcanonical RRMs (MRRMs). Focusing on temporal networks, we use this framework to build a taxonomy of MRRMs that proposes a canonical naming convention, classifies them, and deduces their effects on a range of important network features. We furthermore show that certain classes of compatible MRRMs may be applied in sequential composition to generate over a hundred new MRRMs from the existing ones surveyed in this article. We provide two tutorials showing applications of the MRRM framework to empirical temporal networks: 1) to analyze how different features of a network affect other features and 2) to analyze how such features affect a dynamic process in the network. We finally survey applications of MRRMs found in literature. [48]

Reentrant phase transitions in threshold driven contagion on multiplex networks

Participants : Márton Karsai, Samuel Unicomb.

Models of threshold driven contagion explain the cascading spread of information, behavior, systemic risk, and epidemics on social, financial and biological networks. At odds with empirical observation, these models predict that single-layer unweighted networks become resistant to global cascades after reaching sufficient connectivity. We investigate threshold driven contagion on weight heterogeneous multiplex networks and show that they can remain susceptible to global cascades at any level of connectivity, and with increasing edge density pass through alternating phases of stability and instability in the form of reentrant phase transitions of contagion. Our results provide a novel theoretical explanation for the observation of large scale contagion in highly connected but heterogeneous networks. [23]

Interactional and informational attention on Twitter

Twitter may be considered as a decentralized social information processing platform whose users constantly receive their followees' information feeds, which they may in turn dispatch to their followers. This decentralization is not devoid of hierarchy and heterogeneity, both in terms of activity and attention. In particular, we appraise the distribution of attention at the collective and individual level, which exhibits the existence of attentional constraints and focus effects. We observe that most users usually concentrate their attention on a limited core of peers and topics, and discuss the relationship between interactional and informational attention processes – all of which, we suggest, may be useful to refine influence models by enabling the consideration of differential attention likelihood depending on users, their activity levels and peers' positions. [10]

Efficient limited time reachability estimation in temporal networks

Participant : Márton Karsai.

In this paper we propose a probabilistic counting algorithm, which gives simultaneous and precise estimates of the in- and out-reachability (with any chosen waiting-time limit) for every starting event in a temporal network. Our method is scalable allowing measurements for temporal networks with hundreds of millions of events. This opens up the possibility to analyse reachability, spreading processes, and other dynamics in large temporal networks in completely new ways; to compute centralities based on global reachability for all events; or to find with high probability the exact node and time, which could lead to the largest epidemic outbreak. [52]

weg2vec: Event embedding for temporal networks

Participant : Márton Karsai.

Network embedding techniques are powerful to capture structural regularities in networks and to identify similarities between their local fabrics. However, conventional network embedding models are developed for static structures, commonly consider nodes only and they are seriously challenged when the network is varying in time. Temporal networks may provide an advantage in the description of real systems, but they code more complex information, which could be effectively represented only by a handful of methods so far. Here, we propose a new method of event embedding of temporal networks, called weg2vec, which builds on temporal and structural similarities of events to learn a low dimensional representation of a temporal network. This projection successfully captures latent structures and similarities between events involving different nodes at different times and provides ways to predict the final outcome of spreading processes unfolding on the temporal structure. [53]