Who Are Your "Real" Friends: Analyzing and Distinguishing Between Offline and Online Friendships From Social Multimedia Data

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Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, 2017, 19 (6), pp. 1299 - 1313
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© 2017 IEEE. The Internet has extended the physical boundary of people's social circles to manage an inordinate number of online friends. It is recognized that only a fraction of these online friends are also known with each other in offline circumstances, i.e., the offline friends. An important type of offline friend, onsite offline friend, is defined and addressed in this paper. We explores the possibility of utilizing users' online photo sharing-related behaviors and network topologies to analyze and distinguish between online and onsite offline friendships. Different from traditional social science studies which rely on survey-based data, we employ users' tagged people on the shared Instagram photos as the ground-truth for onsite offline friends. This enables a large-scale and objective analysis and experimental evaluation, which compares between different factors and identifies the features that are key to onsite offline friend identification.
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