This is the program for the 2010 Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Abstract Details

Activity Number: 485
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and Marketing
Abstract - #306175
Title: Pump It Up! Social Pumps and Information Diffusion in Social Networks
Author(s): Andrew Stephen*+ and Jacob Goldenberg and Yaniv Dover
Companies: INSEAD and Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Address: Boulevard de Constance, Fontainebleau, International, 77305, France
Keywords: social networks ; online networks ; complexity

We examine whether characteristics of the people who insert information into social networks affect diffusion, specifically considering both a person's connectivity (e.g., number of friends) and activity (e.g., frequency of "talking"). Past literature has only examined connectivity (e.g., work on "hubs"). We use formal mathematical models, simulations, an experiment, and statistical analysis of data from Twitter. We find that the extent to which a piece of information (e.g., a URL) introduced by a person into a social network (e.g., Twitter) spreads is positively affected by that person's activity rate (e.g., average rate of posting messages) but not by their connectivity (e.g., number of friends). While information introduced by a "hub" has a large audience, they do not necessarily retransmit it. Information introduced by hyper-active "pumps" does seem to get passed on.

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