Memes and Opinions in Online Social Systems
Przemyslaw A. Grabowicz

Speaker Event details

Przemyslaw A. Grabowicz
Postdoctoral Researcher
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems




3 Apr 2017 (Monday)

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Meeting Room 4-4, Level 4
School of Information Systems
Singapore Management University
80 Stamford Road
Singapore 178902

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A meme is a discrete unit of knowledge or a piece of information. Multiple individuals communicating a meme to a given recipient may influence that person in a certain way, for instance to disseminate such information further. The probability of dissemination depends on the number of individuals communicating the meme to the recipient and the type of meme. In our study, we show that topical information (e.g., political hashtags) diffuse faster after multiple communications, whereas non-topical information (e.g., satiric hashtags) diffuse relatively slower after multiple communications. These results can be explained with the theory of complex contagion or by realizing that memes can contain opinions and sentiments. In another study, we measure and model how competing opinions interact. We find that the probability that an individual has a positive opinion on a given subject is a logistic function of the difference in the number of positive and negative opinions to which that person was previously exposed. We propose a family of models of opinion formation giving such logistic dependence. These models are derived from first principles that opinions are random variables updated according to Bayes rule. The aforementioned studies show that the computational definitions of memes and opinions are crucial for comprehension and design of online social systems. I conclude the talk by discussing novel non-parametric Bayesian methods for defining and identifying memes and opinions in social media.

About the speaker

Przemyslaw A. Grabowicz received his Ph.D. from Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in 2014. Currently, Dr. Grabowicz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, where he is a member of the networked systems research group, headed by Dr. Krishna Gummadi. Dr. Grabowicz has performed long research stays at Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing, Department of Mathematics of Charles III University of Madrid, and Yahoo! Research. Dr. Grabowicz specializes in social computing research and computational social science. Recently, Dr. Grabowicz has received a prestigious four-year long grant entitled "Current Affairs 2.0: Agenda Setting in the European Union".

  LARC is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister's Office, Singapore under its International Research Centres in Singapore Funding Initiative.  

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