On-line social media systems are not simply venues for people to come together; they are also explicitly designed environments whose architectures serve to shape behavior. Here we consider several computational challenges for on-line social systems that illustrate this tension between organic interaction and algorithmic design. In particular, we consider the problem of managing personal information streams by predicting which pieces of content will lead to the most active discussions and which will be shared the most broadly. We also study the underlying social network to identify links along which interaction is the strongest. Our analysis sheds light on the extent to which large on-line cascades are predictable and the collective structure of people’s strongest social ties.
The talk will include joint work with Lada Adamic, Lars Backstrom, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Justin Cheng, Alex Dow, Lillian Lee, and Johan Ugander.
Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor of Computer Science and Information Science at Cornell, where his research focuses on the social and information networks that underpin the Web and other on-line media. He is the author of the books “Algorithm Design” (with Eva Tardos) and “Networks, Crowds, and Markets” (with David Easley). He is the recipient of awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Nevanlinna Prize, the Harvey Prize, the ACM SIGKDD Innovation Award, and the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.
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