Identifying peer influence in online social networks using transfer entropy

Saike He, Xiaolong Zheng, Daniel Zeng, Kainan Cui, Zhu Zhang, Chuan Luo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Scopus citations


The past few years have witnessed the rapid growth of online social networks, which have become important hubs of social activity and conduits of information. Identifying social influence in these newly emerging platforms can provide us with significant insights to better understand the interaction behaviors among online users. However, it is difficult for us to measure the influence quantitatively among user peers, since many key factors such as homophily and heterogeneity, can not be observed in our real world conveniently. More recent work mainly focuses on developing theoretical models based on explicit causal knowledge. Nevertheless, such knowledge is usually not available and often needs to be discovered. In this paper, we introduce a model free approach to formulate causal inferences of behaviors among user peers. Experimental results show that influence measured by our approach could successfully reconstruct the underlying networks structure. Furthermore, two additional case studies based on this approach reveal that influentials wield power through specific venues, which constitute a comparatively small portion of the whole channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntelligence and Security Informatics - Pacific Asia Workshop, PAISI 2013, Proceedings
Number of pages15
StatePublished - Sep 3 2013
EventPacific Asia Workshop on Intelligence and Security Informatics, PAISI 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: Aug 3 2013Aug 3 2013

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8039 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


OtherPacific Asia Workshop on Intelligence and Security Informatics, PAISI 2013


  • Transfer entropy
  • causal inference
  • peer influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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