Identifying influential links for event propagation on Twitter: A network of networks approach
Patterns of event propagation in online social networks provide novel insights on the modeling and analysis of information dissemination over networks and physical systems. This paper studies the importance of follower links for event propagation on Twitter. Three recent event propagation traces are collected with the Twitter user language field being used to identify the Network of Networks (NoN) structure embedded in the Twitter follower networks. We first formulate event propagation on Twitter as an iterative state equation, and then propose an effective score function on follower links accounting for the containment of event propagation via link removals. Furthermore, we find that utilizing the NoN model can successfully identify influential follower links such that their removals lead to a remarkable reduction in event propagation on Twitter follower networks. Experimental results find that the between-network follower links, though only account for a small portion of the total follower links, are crucial to event propagation on Twitter.