Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Keys For Diffusion Of Information In Social Networks

Date:
September 21, 2009
Source:
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica
Summary:
Information in social networks moves at an unexpectedly slow pace, with the exception of some mass events. This is one of the main conclusions of a study carried out by researchers in Spain and IBM, who analyze how the behaviour of online users influences the spread of information through the Internet.

Final state of the propagation cascade. The circle in black represents the person who initiated the viral propagation. The gray circles are those persons who received the message and forwarded it to other persons, and the white circles are those who received the message but did not forward it.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

The spread of information in social networks, something of crucial importance in awareness and marketing campaigns or the spreading of rumours and viruses, for example, is largely determined by the great heterogeneity of "internauts" -- or Internet users -- in their response time, according to the researchers. Traditional models estimated that internauts respond in approximately one day and that, as such, it took one day for information to be transmitted.

Related Articles


However, this study, based on an actual experiment by IBM to observe and quantify the spread of business information in social networks, points out that it occurs at two speeds due to user activity. “Those who respond very quickly to e-mails, technology addicts who are always connected, are the ones responsible for spreading certain rumours or campaigns quickly via [the] Internet,” notes Esteban Moro, professor of Mathematics at the UC3M.

In this light, if information is so interesting that it reaches many people, the diffusion is faster because these people quickly forward the message. This explains why some computer viruses quickly spread via e-mail in a matter of hours, despite the fact that the email response time is one day. However, if information is not so interesting, the diffusion is slower because it is controlled by those persons who take a long time to respond; this causes some rumours or bits of information to remain dormant in social networks a long time after they are released.

The study has been published by Esteban Moro and José Luis Iribarren, interactive marketing manager of IBM for Europe, in Physical Review Letters.

The Mathematics of the Spread of Information

The mathematical models that these researchers have created explain why viral campaigns take so long to work and even assess their possible impact. “With this experience, we have been able to predict, within a small margin of error, how many people will receive the information and how long it will take to reach them. It is the first time that we have come up with quantitative models which enable us to predict what is happening,” states Moro. The quality of the data allows for a mathematical modelling of viral campaigns via branching processes which, for their part, add the researchers, corroborate the predominant role of heterogeneity in social networks where the spread of information is concerned.

To reach these conclusions, the promoters of the study analyzed the results of a set of viral marketing campaigns designed by Iribarren for IBM. Over 30,000 people from 11 European countries participated in the campaigns, which consisted of the classical model of recommending a friend.

A news bulletin from the company itself was released so that people could subscribe via a form which, after completed, included the option of recommending the subscription to another person. To increase recommendation, there was a contest which featured a prize draw for a laptop computer among those who had forwarded the information.

This campaign also served to verify that citizens of Mediterranean countries, especially Spain and Italy, are more willing to put down their personal data on this type of form than people from Northern European countries, who are much more reluctant to comply with these on-line requirements.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. "New Keys For Diffusion Of Information In Social Networks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911114155.htm>.
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. (2009, September 21). New Keys For Diffusion Of Information In Social Networks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911114155.htm
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. "New Keys For Diffusion Of Information In Social Networks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911114155.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dash Button Shows Amazon Is Going After Grocers

Dash Button Shows Amazon Is Going After Grocers

Newsy (Mar. 31, 2015) — Dash Button enables you to order regular household items with the push of a button, yet another play by Amazon to grab everyday customers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What The Charter, Bright House Deal Means For Cable

What The Charter, Bright House Deal Means For Cable

Newsy (Mar. 31, 2015) — Tuesday, Charter announced the two companies had come to a "definitive agreement," with Charter paying $10.4 billion for Bright House. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IBM Promises Millions For Businesses With ... Weather Data?

IBM Promises Millions For Businesses With ... Weather Data?

Newsy (Mar. 31, 2015) — IBM announced Tuesday a partnership with The Weather Company and a $3 billion investment for its Internet of Things unit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins