An epidemic model of rumor diffusion in online social networks
Key Laboratory of Communication & Information Systems, Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, Beijing 100044, China
Received: 18 June 2012
Received in final form: 11 October 2012
Published online: 28 January 2013
So far, in some standard rumor spreading models, the transition probability from ignorants to spreaders is always treated as a constant. However, from a practical perspective, the case that individual whether or not be infected by the neighbor spreader greatly depends on the trustiness of ties between them. In order to solve this problem, we introduce a stochastic epidemic model of the rumor diffusion, in which the infectious probability is defined as a function of the strength of ties. Moreover, we investigate numerically the behavior of the model on a real scale-free social site with the exponent γ = 2.2. We verify that the strength of ties plays a critical role in the rumor diffusion process. Specially, selecting weak ties preferentially cannot make rumor spread faster and wider, but the efficiency of diffusion will be greatly affected after removing them. Another significant finding is that the maximum number of spreaders max(S) is very sensitive to the immune probability μ and the decay probability v. We show that a smaller μ or v leads to a larger spreading of the rumor, and their relationships can be described as the function ln(max(S)) = Av + B, in which the intercept B and the slope A can be fitted perfectly as power-law functions of μ. Our findings may offer some useful insights, helping guide the application in practice and reduce the damage brought by the rumor.
Key words: Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2013