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Come hear from Lada Adamic - University of Michigan

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Speaker: Lada Adamic

We are very excited that the seventh distinguished speaker in this series will be Lada Adamic. Doors open at 6:30pm, talk begins at 7:00pm. Drinks and light food provided.

Title: Information diffusion in social networks

ABSTRACT: As individuals communicate, their exchanges form a dynamic network. Social ties and group affiliations tend to be predictive of where and how far information will spread, but it is not always clear that they are the direct cause of the spread. In a large-scale field experiment that randomizes exposure to signals about friends’ information sharing on Facebook, we show that those who are exposed are significantly more likely to spread information, and do so sooner than those who are not exposed. We further show that, although stronger ties are individually more influential, it is the more abundant weak ties who are responsible for the propagation of novel information. Finally, we demonstrate that network structure alone can be highly revealing of the diversity and novelty of the information being communicated in the network. Networks with a higher conductance exhibit higher information entropy, while unexpected network configurations are indicative of higher information novelty.

BIO: Lada A. Adamic is an associate professor in the School of Information and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan. She is also affiliated with EECS. Her research interests center on information dynamics in networks: how information diffuses, how it can be found, and how it influences the evolution of a network's structure. Her projects have included identifying expertise in online question and answer forums, studying the dynamics of viral marketing, and characterizing the structure in blogs and other online communities. She has received an NSF CAREER award, and best paper awards from Hypertext'08, ICWSM'10 and '11, and the most influential paper of the decade award from Web Intelligence'11.