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Diffusion Dynamics with Changing Network Composition
Instituto de Biocomputación y Física de Sistemas Complejos (BIFI), Universidad de Zaragoza, Mariano Esquillor s/n, Zaragoza 50018, Spain
Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3JS, UK
Departamento de Física Teórica, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza 50009, Spain
Complex Networks and Systems Lagrange Lab, Institute for Scientific Interchange, Turin 10126, Italy
Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 August 2013; in revised form: 10 October 2013 / Accepted: 11 October 2013 / Published: 24 October 2013
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.
Keywords: information cascades; political communication; online networks; collective behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style
Baños, R.A.; Borge-Holthoefer, J.; Wang, N.; Moreno, Y.; González-Bailón, S. Diffusion Dynamics with Changing Network Composition. Entropy 2013, 15, 4553-4568.
Baños RA, Borge-Holthoefer J, Wang N, Moreno Y, González-Bailón S. Diffusion Dynamics with Changing Network Composition. Entropy. 2013; 15(11):4553-4568.
Baños, Raquel A.; Borge-Holthoefer, Javier; Wang, Ning; Moreno, Yamir; González-Bailón, Sandra. 2013. "Diffusion Dynamics with Changing Network Composition." Entropy 15, no. 11: 4553-4568.