Research Seminar Series: Diffusion of Competing Rumors on Social Media

Past event — 8 March 2017

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg

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Prof. Enver Yücesan

Technology & Operations Management, INSEAD


Innovations in internet and communication technologies, coupled with the continued popularity of social media platforms, represent a paradigm shift in human communication. Online interactions on social media platforms are fundamentally different from traditional offline human interactions in terms of volume, velocity, and reach, affecting the spread of information, ideas, opinions, and rumors. This talk investigates the dynamics of communication on social media, particularly related to the spread of rumors. More specifically, it studies the impact of micro-level agent interactions within social media discussions on macro-level outcomes related to the diffusion of rumors, which are known to spread wildly, even in competition. To this end, an agent-based framework is used to model social media discussions, modularly describing heterogeneous agents with differentiating characteristics, their interaction dynamics, rumor state transitions, and the evolution of networks on which these agents interact. Studying the effect of population, agent, interaction, and network characteristics, our study finds that some network structures have a significant impact on the spread of extreme opinions, and that a mixture of agent, population, and interaction dynamics explains the diffusion of rumors, rather than just the reputation of agents.


Enver Yücesan's main teaching and research activities focus on tactical operational problems such as process analysis, manufacturing planning and control, integrated logistics, supply chain management, and performance assessment in manufacturing, telecommunications, and service environments. He is also a specialist in computer simulation with an emphasis on modeling and performance analysis.  Professor Yücesan is an Industrial Engineer with a PhD in Operations Research from Cornell University.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Winter Simulation Conference and an Area Editor of the IIE Transactions.  He is the author of academic articles on stochastic modeling and performance analysis as well as of two books on supply chain management.

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Birgit Kappert

Program Manager