Analysis of a Heterogeneous Social Network of Humans and Cultural Objects
Santa Agreste, Pasquale De Meo, Emilio Ferrara, Sebastiano Piccolo, Alessandro Provetti
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man & Cybernetics. Systems
Modern online social platforms enable their members to be involved in a broad range of activities like getting friends, joining groups, posting/commenting resources and so on. In this paper we investigate whether a correlation emerges across the different activities a user can take part in. To perform our analysis we focused on aNobii, a social platform with a world-wide user base of book readers, who like to post their readings, give ratings, review books and discuss them with friends and
... w readers. aNobii presents a heterogeneous structure: i) part social network, with user-to-user interactions, ii) part interest network, with the management of book collections, and iii) part folksonomy, with books that are tagged by the users. We analyzed a complete and anonymized snapshot of aNobii and we focused on three specific activities a user can perform, namely her tagging behavior, her tendency to join groups and her aptitude to compile a wishlist reporting the books she is planning to read. In this way each user is associated with a tag-based, a group-based and a wishlist-based profile. Experimental analysis carried out by means of Information Theory tools like entropy and mutual information suggests that tag-based and group-based profiles are in general more informative than wishlist-based ones. Furthermore, we discover that the degree of correlation between the three profiles associated with the same user tend to be small. Hence, user profiling cannot be reduced to considering just any one type of user activity (although important) but it is crucial to incorporate multiple dimensions to effectively describe users preferences and behavior.