Understanding and Modeling Collective User (Mis-)Behavior Driving Information Spread Online

Speaker : Jussara Almeida
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Date: 29/05/2024
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Room 4B01


The literature is quite rich in efforts to model and analyze how different aspects of user behavior may drive the dissemination of a piece of content online, favoring its spread at large. Yet, human behavior is often very heterogeneous, highly dynamic, and may manifest itself in multiple facets and scales, with components that are conceptually hard to operationalize. As such, inferring behavioral patterns and profiles from digital traces can be quite challenging. In this talk, I will discuss our efforts towards inferring, modeling and analyzing collective user behavior (notably user campaigns) towards favoring information dissemination online. I will show results applied to the study of spread of fake news, illegal political ads, and hate speech. Finally, as a short detour, I will discuss recent results on the use of similar techniques to a completely different context, namely scientometrics, to analyze the emergence of anomalous hyperprolific researchers.

Short Bio

Jussara M Almeida is a Full Professor at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil, where she currently leads the Social Computing Laboratory (LOCUS) at the Department of Computer Science. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (US) and is a former affiliate member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Her areas of expertise are workload and user behavior characterization, performance analysis and modeling of large-scale distributed systems, and social computing.