Toronto Metropolitan University
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Retweet Prediction Based on User Behavior

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posted on 2021-05-23, 17:16 authored by Syeda Nadia Firdaus
Social network is a hot topic of interest for researchers in the field of computer science in recent years. These social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram play an important role in information diffusion. Social network data are created by its users. Users’ online activities and behavior have been studied in various past research efforts in order to get a better understanding on how information is diffused on social networks. In this study, we focus on Twitter and we explore the impact of user behavior on their retweet activity. To represent a user’s behavior for predicting their retweet decision, we introduce 10-dimentional emotion and 35-dimensional personality related features. We consider the difference of a user being an author and a retweeter in terms of their behaviors, and propose a machine learning based retweet prediction model considering this difference. We also propose two approaches for matrix factorization retweet prediction model which learns the latent relation between users and tweets to predict the user’s retweet decision. In the experiment, we have tested our proposed models. We find that models based on user behavior related features provide good improvement (3% - 6% in terms of F1- score) over baseline models. By only considering user’s behavior as a retweeter, the data processing time is reduced while the prediction accuracy is comparable to the case when both retweeting and posting behaviors are considered. In the proposed matrix factorization models, we include tweet features into the basic factorization model through newly defined regularization terms and improve the performance by 3% - 4% in terms of F1-score. Finally, we compare the performance of machine learning and matrix factorization models for retweet prediction and find that none of the models is superior to the other in all occasions. Therefore, different models should be used depending on how prediction results will be used. Machine learning model is preferable when a model’s performance quality is important such as for tweet re-ranking and tweet recommendation. Matrix factorization is a preferred option when model’s positive retweet prediction capability is more important such as for marketing campaign and finding potential retweeters.





  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Computer Science

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Dissertation



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