A Data-Driven Analysis to Question Epidemic Models for Citation Cascades on the Blogosphere
Keywords:blog network, citation cascades, statistical measures, spreading models
Citation cascades in blog networks are often considered as traces of information spreading on this social medium. In this work, we question this point of view using both a structural and semantic analysis of five months activity of the most representative blogs of the french-speaking community. Statistical measures reveal that our dataset shares many features with those that can be found in the literature, suggesting the existence of an identical underlying process. However, a closer analysis of the post content indicates that the popular epidemic-like descriptions of cascades are misleading in this context. A basic model, taking only into account the behavior of bloggers and their restricted social network, accounts for several important statistical features of the data. These arguments support the idea that citations primary goal may not be information spreading on the blogosphere.