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Tsinghua Science and Technology

Keywords

Weibo, Twitter, online social network, complex network, mutual information

Abstract

Weibo is the Twitter counterpart in China that has attracted hundreds of millions of users. We crawled an almost complete Weibo user network that contains 222 million users and 27 billion links in 2013. This paper analyzes the structural properties of this network, and compares it with a Twitter user network. The topological properties we studied include the degree distributions, connected components, distance distributions, reciprocity, clustering coefficient, PageRank centrality, and degree assortativity. We find that Weibo users have a higher diversity index, higher Gini index, but a lower reciprocity and clustering coefficient for most of the nodes. A surprising observation is that the reciprocity of Weibo is only about a quarter of the reciprocity of the Twitter user network. We also show that Weibo adoption rate correlates with economic development positively, and Weibo network can be used to quantify the connections between provinces and regions in China. In particular, point-wise mutual information is shown to be accurate in quantifying the strength of connections. We developed an interactive analyzing software framework for this study, and released the data and code online.

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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