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Chapman University Researches Way to Mathematically Make Something Go Viral on Facebook

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Going viral.

Researchers at Chapman University have attempted to determine mathematically whether something will go viral on Facebook.

Credit: Seasons of Smiles Dental

One person in a social cluster on Facebook can spread information to others just as effectively as an opinion leader, according to researchers at Chapman University.

Chapman chancellor Daniele Struppa says the researchers attempted to mathematically determine whether something will go viral on Facebook, using health information as the subject. They created a computational simulation consisting of seven propositions and five algorithmic steps to identify the way to achieve the maximum reach of people. The propositions describe how information spreading, higher dimensional groups, and social aggregations on Facebook can be mathematically conceptualized to extend classical network analysis to a higher dimensionality. They identify Facebook friends and users who share world views, share an identity and ideology, and share groups, using similar linguistic styles, and endorsing or "liking" similar postings.

"Given Facebook's highly diffused status and heavy daily dosage, we believe it is one of the best platforms for understanding how a mathematical model can be used for health interventions," says Chapman professor Lisa Sparks.

From Chapman University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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