Core-Periphery or Decentralized? Topological Shifts of Specialized Information on Twitter

Social Networks, Forthcoming

32 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017 Last revised: 3 Oct 2017

Marco T. Bastos

City University London - School of Social Sciences

Carlo Piccardi

Polytechnic University of Milan

Michael Levy

University of California, Davis - Department of Environmental Science and Policy

Neil McRoberts

University of California, Davis

Mark Lubell

University of California, Davis

Date Written: September 29, 2017

Abstract

In this paper we investigate shifts in Twitter network topology resulting from the type of information being shared. We identified communities matching areas of agricultural expertise and measured the core-periphery centralization of network formations resulting from users sharing generic versus specialized information. We found that centralization increases when specialized information is shared and that the network adopts decentralized formations as conversations become more generic. The results are consistent with classical diffusion models positing that specialized information comes with greater centralization, but they also show that users favor decentralized formations, which can foster community cohesion, when spreading specialized information is secondary.

Suggested Citation

Bastos, Marco Toledo and Piccardi, Carlo and Levy, Michael and McRoberts, Neil and Lubell, Mark, Core-Periphery or Decentralized? Topological Shifts of Specialized Information on Twitter (September 29, 2017). Social Networks, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045897

Marco Toledo Bastos (Contact Author)

City University London - School of Social Sciences ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Carlo Piccardi

Polytechnic University of Milan ( email )

Piazza Leonardo da Vinci
Milan, Milano 20100
Italy

Michael Levy

University of California, Davis - Department of Environmental Science and Policy ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Neil McRoberts

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Mark Lubell

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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