Measuring Radicalization in Online Social Networks Using Markov Chains

The growing penetration of online social networks (OSNs) has emerged as a strong operational tool for spreading online radicalization by adding intensity and acceleration to the operations of radical groups. The efficiency of ways and methods proposed to measure the dynamics of radicalization are limited by the availability of models for modeling the intricacies of human dynamics and heterogeneous time varying interactions. Most of the developed algorithms and tools mainly focus on the static network structures and tend to ignore the “origin” of a new radical idea or propagation of a “weak” topic which might find its relevance in the security domain later on with the passage of time. In this article we propose a mathematical model for measuring dynamic propagation of radicalization in OSNs using Discrete Time Markov Chains by discretizing the continuous time domain. We also discuss our experimental results obtained through the information network of Twitter. The approach presented here is scalable and can easily be extended for modeling diffusion of general topics in OSNs.

Tags: Network Analysis, Social Media, Social Networks, Twitter