Extraction, characterization and utility of prototypical communication groups in the blogosphere

Munmun De Choudhury, Hari Sundaram, Ajita John, Doree Duncan Seligmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyzes communication within a set of individuals to extract the representative prototypical groups and provides a novel framework to establish the utility of such groups. Corporations may want to identify representative groups (which are indicative of the overall communication set) because it is easier to track the prototypical groups rather than the entire set. This can be useful for advertising, identifying "hot" spots of resource consumption as well as in mining representative moods or temperature of a community. Our framework has three parts: extraction, characterization, and utility of prototypical groups. First, we extract groups by developing features representing communication dynamics of the individuals. Second, to characterize the overall communication set, we identify a subset of groups within the community as the prototypical groups. Third, we justify the utility of these prototypical groups by using them as predictors of related external phenomena; specifically, stock market movement of technology companies and political polls of Presidential candidates in the 2008 U.S. elections. We have conducted extensive experiments on two popular blogs, Engadget and Huffington Post. We observe that the prototypical groups can predict stock market movement/political polls satisfactorily with mean error rate of 20.32%. Further, our method outperforms baseline methods based on alternative group extraction and prototypical group identification methods. We evaluate the quality of the extracted groups based on their conductance and coverage measures and develop metrics: predictivity and resilience to evaluate their ability to predict a related external time-series variable (stock market movement/political polls). This implies that communication dynamics of individuals are essential in extracting groups in a community, and the prototypical groups extracted by our method are meaningful in characterizing the overall communication sets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Blogosphere
  • Communication dynamics
  • Engadget
  • Huffington Post
  • Political polls
  • Prototypical groups
  • Social communication
  • Social network analysis
  • Stock market movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Computer Science Applications


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