Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

1-1-2013

Publication Source

Entropy

Volume

15

Start Page

4553

Last Page

4568

DOI

10.3390/e15114553

Abstract

We analyze information diffusion using empirical data that tracks online communication around two instances of mass political mobilization that took place in Spain in 2011 and 2012. We also analyze protest-related communications during the year that elapsed between those protests. We compare the global properties of the topological and dynamic networks through which communication took place, as well as local changes in network composition. We show that changes in network structure underlie aggregated differences on how information diffused: an increase in network hierarchy is accompanied by a reduction in the average size of cascades. The increasing hierarchy affects not only the underlying communication topology but also the more dynamic structure of information exchange; the increase is especially noticeable amongst certain categories of nodes (or users). Our findings suggest that the relationship between the structure of networks and their function in diffusing information is not as straightforward as some theoretical models of diffusion in networks imply.

Comments

Baños, R., Borge-Holthoefer, J., Wang, N., Moreno, Y., and González-Bailón, S. (2013).“Diffusion Dynamics with Changing Network Composition”, Entropy (special issue on Social Networks and Information Diffusion), 15(11), 4553-4568. doi:10.3390/e15114553

Keywords

information cascades, political communication, online networks, collective behavior

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Date Posted: 24 February 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.