D-MAP+: Interactive visual analysis and exploration of ego-centric and event-centric information diffusion patterns in social media

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Journal Article
ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology, 2018, 10 (1)
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© 2018 Association for Computing Machinery. Information diffusion analysis is important in social media. In this work, we present a coherent ego-centric and event-centric model to investigate diffusion patterns and user behaviors. Applying the model, we propose Diffusion Map+ (D-Maps+), a novel visualization method to support exploration and analysis of user behaviors and diffusion patterns through a map metaphor. For ego-centric analysis, users who participated in reposting (i.e., resending a message initially posted by others) one central user's posts (i.e., a series of original tweets) are collected. Event-centric analysis focuses on multiple central users discussing a specific event, with all the people participating and reposting messages about it. Social media users are mapped to a hexagonal grid based on their behavior similarities and in the chronological order of repostings. With the additional interactions and linkings, D-Map+ is capable of providing visual profiling of influential users, describing their social behaviors and analyzing the evolution of significant events in social media. A comprehensive visual analysis system is developed to support interactive exploration with D-Map+. We evaluate our work with real-world social media data and find interesting patterns among users and events. We also perform evaluations including user studies and expert feedback to certify the capabilities of our method.
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