Detecting hierarchical relationships and roles from online interaction networks

Jaber, Mohammad Tareq (2015) Detecting hierarchical relationships and roles from online interaction networks. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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In social networks, analysing the explicit interactions among users can help in inferring hierarchical relationships and roles that may be implicit. In this thesis, we focus on two objectives: detecting hierarchical relationships between users and inferring the hierarchical roles of users interacting via the same online communication medium. In both cases, we show that considering the temporal dimension of interaction substantially improves the detection of relationships and roles. The first focus of this thesis is on the problem of inferring implicit relationships from interactions between users. Based on promising results obtained by standard link-analysis methods such as PageRank and Rooted-PageRank (RPR), we introduce three novel time-based approaches, \Time-F" based on a defined time function, Filter and Refine (FiRe) which is a hybrid approach based on RPR and Time-F, and Time-sensitive Rooted-PageRank (T-RPR) which applies RPR in a way that takes into account the time-dimension of interactions in the process of detecting hierarchical ties. We experiment on two datasets, the Enron email dataset to infer managersubordinate relationships from email exchanges, and a scientific publication coauthorship dataset to detect PhD advisor-advisee relationships from paper co-authorships. Our experiments demonstrate that time-based methods perform better in terms of recall. In particular T-RPR turns out to be superior over most recent competitor methods as well as all other approaches we propose. The second focus of this thesis is examining the online communication behaviour of users working on the same activity in order to identify the different hierarchical roles played by the users. We propose two approaches. In the first approach, supervised learning is used to train different classification algorithms. In the second approach, we address the problem as a sequence classification problem. A novel sequence classification framework is defined that generates time-dependent features based on frequent patterns at multiple levels of time granularity. Our framework is a exible technique for sequence classification to be applied in different domains. We experiment on an educational dataset collected from an asynchronous communication tool used by students to accomplish an underlying group project. Our experimental findings show that the first supervised approach achieves the best mapping of students to their roles when the individual attributes of the students, information about the reply relationships among them as well as quantitative time-based features are considered. Similarly, our multi-granularity pattern-based framework shows competitive performance in detecting the students' roles. Both approaches are significantly better than the baselines considered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Computer Science & Information Systems
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2016 16:25
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2016 16:35

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