Journal Article Retweets as a Predictor of Relationships among Users on Social Media

Tsugawa, Sho  ,  Kito, Kosuke

12 ( 1 )  , p.e0170279 , 2017-01 , Public Library of Science
Link prediction is the problem of detecting missing links or predicting future link formation in a network. Application of link prediction to social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, is useful both for developing novel services and for sociological analyses. While most existing research on link prediction uses only the social network topology for the prediction, in social media, records of user activities such as posting, replying, and reposting are available. These records are expected to reflect user interest, and so incorporating them should improve link prediction. However, research into link prediction using the records of user activities is still in its infancy, and the effectiveness of such records for link prediction has not been fully explored. In this study, we focus in particular on records of reposting as a promising source that could be useful for link prediction, and investigate their effectiveness for link prediction on the popular social media platform Twitter. Our results show that (1) the prediction accuracy of techniques using reposting records is higher than that of popular topology-based techniques such as common neighbors and resource allocation for actively retweeting users, (2) the accuracy of link prediction techniques that use network topology alone can be improved by incorporating reposting records.

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