Adam Schunk, Master’s candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
Over the past years online social networks have become a major target for marketing strategies, generating a need for methods to efficiently spread information through these networks. Close-knit communities have developed on these platforms through groups of users connecting with likeminded individuals.
In this thesis we use data pulled through Twitter's API and generate simulations designed to mirror the Twitter network to pursue an in-depth analysis of the network structure and influence of these communities. Through this analysis we make several conclusions. First, the influence of users in these communities is correlated to the total number of followers in their neighborhood. Second, influential communities tend to be more tightly clustered than other areas of the network. Using these observations, we develop an algorithm to detect influential communities in Twitter and show that correctly prioritizing connections yields significant gains in message visibility.