Unsupervised Scalable Statistical Method for Identifying Influential Users in Online Social Networks
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Billions of users interact intensively every day via Online Social Networks (OSNs) such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. This makes OSNs an invaluable source of information, and channel of actuation, for sectors like advertising, marketing, or politics. To get the most of OSNs, analysts need to identify influential users that can be leveraged for promoting products, distributing messages, or improving the image of companies. In this report we propose a new unsupervised method, Massive Unsupervised Outlier Detection (MUOD), based on outliers detection, for providing support in the identification of influential users. MUOD is scalable, and can hence be used in large OSNs. Moreover, it labels the outliers as of shape, magnitude, or amplitude, depending of their features. This allows classifying the outlier users in multiple different classes, which are likely to include different types of influential users. Applying MUOD to a subset of roughly 400 million Google+ users, it has allowed identifying and discriminating automatically sets of outlier users, which present features associated to different definitions of influential users, like capacity to attract engagement, capacity to attract a large number of followers, or high infection capacity.