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Models of contagion dynamics, originally developed for infectious diseases, have proven relevant to the study of information, news, and political opinions in online social systems. Modelling diffusion processes and predicting viral information cascades are important problems in network science. Yet, many studies of information cascades neglect the variation in infectivity across different pieces of information. Here, we employ early-time observations of online cascades to estimate the infectivity of distinct pieces of information. Using simulations and data from real-world Twitter retweets, we demonstrate that these estimated infectivities can be used to improve predictions about the virality of an information cascade. Developing our simulations to mimic the real-world data, we consider the effect of the limited effective time for transmission of a cascade and demonstrate that a simple model of slow but non-negligible decay of the infectivity captures the essential properties of retweet distributions. These results demonstrate the interplay between the intrinsic infectivity of a tweet and the complex network environment within which it diffuses, strongly influencing the likelihood of becoming a viral cascade.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Method for measuring viral infectivity and multiplication in CULTURED CELLS. Clear lysed areas or plaques develop as the VIRAL PARTICLES are released from the infected cells during incubation. With some VIRUSES, the cells are killed by a cytopathic effect; with others, the infected cells are not killed but can be detected by their hemadsorptive ability. Sometimes the plaque cells contain VIRAL ANTIGENS which can be measured by IMMUNOFLUORESCENCE.
Method for measuring viral infectivity and multiplication in cultured cells. Clear lysed areas or plaques develop as the viral particles are released from the infected cells during incubation. With some viruses, the cells are killed by a cytopathic effect; with others, the infected cells are not killed but can be detected by their hemadsorptive ability. Sometimes the plaque cells contain viral antigens which can be measured by immunofluorescence.
Products of the retroviral NEF GENE. They play a role as accessory proteins that influence the rate of viral infectivity and the destruction of the host immune system. nef gene products were originally found as factors that trans-suppress viral replication and function as negative regulators of transcription. nef stands for negative factor.
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An intracellular signaling system involving the MAP kinase cascades (three-membered protein kinase cascades). Various upstream activators, which act in response to extracellular stimuli, trigger the cascades by activating the first member of a cascade, MAP KINASE KINASE KINASES; (MAPKKKs). Activated MAPKKKs phosphorylate MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASE KINASES which in turn phosphorylate the MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASES; (MAPKs). The MAPKs then act on various downstream targets to affect gene expression. In mammals, there are several distinct MAP kinase pathways including the ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) pathway, the SAPK/JNK (stress-activated protein kinase/c-jun kinase) pathway, and the p38 kinase pathway. There is some sharing of components among the pathways depending on which stimulus originates activation of the cascade.
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