Simulating Online Social Response: A Stimulus/Response Perspective

Huajie Shao, Tarek Abdelzaher, Jiawei Han, Minhao Jiang, Yuning Mao, Yu Meng, Wenda Qiu, Dachun Sun, Ruijie Wang, Chaoqi Yang, Zhenzhou Yang, Xinyang Zhang, Yu Zhang, Sam Cohen, James Flamino, Gyorgy Korniss, Omar Malik, Aamir Mandviwalla, Boleslaw Szymanski, Lake Yin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The paper describes a methodology for simulating online social media activities that occur in response to external events. A large number of social media simulators model information diffusion on online social networks. However, information cascades do not originate in vacuum. Rather, they often originate as a reaction to events external to the online medium. Thus, to predict activity on the social medium, one must investigate the relation between external stimuli and online social responses. The paper presents a simulation pipeline that features stimulus/response models describing how social systems react to external events of relevance to them. Two case studies are presented to test the fidelity of different models. One investigates online responses to events in the Venezuela election crisis. The other investigates online responses to developments of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). These case studies indicate that simple macroscopic stimulus/response models can accurately predict aggregate online trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2021 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665433112
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2021 - Phoenix, United States
Duration: Dec 12 2021Dec 15 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - Winter Simulation Conference
ISSN (Print)0891-7736


Conference2021 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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