UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Tracking infection diffusion in social networks Pedersen, Tavis Joseph


This thesis explores the problem of tracking the diffusion of contagion processes on social networks. Infection (or Information) diffusion is modeled using the Susceptible-Infected-Susceptible (SIS) model. Mean field approximation is employed to approximate the discrete valued infection dynamics by a deterministic ordinary differential equation, thereby yielding a generative model for the infection diffusion. The infection is shown to follow polynomial dynamics and is estimated using an exact non-linear Bayesian filter. We compute posterior Cramer-Rao bounds to obtain the fundamental limits of the filter which depend on the structure of the network. The SIS model is extended to include homophily, and filtering on these networks using the exact non-linear Bayesian filter is illustrated. With consideration for the collaborative or antagonistic nature of some social processes on networks, we present an alternative, game theoretic, model for the spread of information based on the evolutionary Moran process. The diffusion of collaboration following this Moran model is estimated using a particle filter. Additionally, we validate the efficacy of our method with diffusion data from a real-world online social media platform, Twitter. We find that SIS model is a good fit for the information diffusion and the non-linear filter effectively tracks the information diffusion.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International