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The widespread adoption of social media for political communication creates unprecedented opportunities to monitor the opinions of large numbers of politically active individuals in real time. However, without a way to distinguish between users of opposing political alignments, conflicting signals at the individual level may, in the aggregate, obscure… (More)
We investigate the predictability of successful memes using their early spreading patterns in the underlying social networks. We propose and analyze a comprehensive set of features and develop an accurate model to predict future popularity of a meme given its early spreading patterns. Our paper provides the first comprehensive comparison of existing… (More)
Social bookmarking systems are becoming increasingly important data sources for bootstrapping and maintaining Semantic Web applications. Their emergent information structures have become known as folksonomies. A key question for harvesting semantics from these systems is how to extend and adapt traditional notions of similarity to folksonomies, and which… (More)
Web 2.0 applications have attracted a considerable amount of attention because their open-ended nature allows users to create lightweight semantic scaffolding to organize and share content. To date, the interplay of the social and semantic components of social media has been only partially explored. Here we focus on Flickr and Last.fm, two social media… (More)
Topical crawlers are becoming important tools to support applications such as specialized Web portals, online searching, and competitive intelligence. As the Web mining field matures, the disparate crawling strategies proposed in the literature will have to be evaluated and compared on common tasks through well-defined performance measures. This paper… (More)
Topical crawlers are increasingly seen as a way to address the scalability limitations of universal search engines, by distributing the crawling process across users, queries, or even client computers. The context available to such crawlers can guide the navigation of links with the goal of efficiently locating highly relevant target pages. We developed a… (More)
The wide adoption of social media has increased the competition among ideas for our finite attention. We employ a parsimonious agent-based model to study whether such a competition may affect the popularity of different memes, the diversity of information we are exposed to, and the fading of our collective interests for specific topics. Agents share… (More)
We study astroturf political campaigns on microblogging platforms: politically-motivated individuals and organizations that use multiple centrally-controlled accounts to create the appearance of widespread support for a candidate or opinion. We describe a machine learning framework that combines topological, content-based and crowdsourced features of… (More)