Update 2015-03-25: We just got nominated for a best paper award!
Update 2015-04-01: We won best paper!
Patrick Park and I recently got our paper accepted into SBP 2015. The work demonstrates how the structure of Twitter @mention networks can be used to distinguish between accounts owned by individuals or groups. Here’s the abstract
We propose a classification method for group vs. individual accounts on Twitter, based solely on communication network characteristics. While such a language-agnostic, network-based approach has been used in the past, this paper motivates the task from firmly established theories of human interactional constraints from cognitive science to sociology. Time, cognitive, and social role constraints limit the extent to which individuals can maintain social ties. These constraints are expressed in observable network metrics at the node (i.e. account) level which we identify and exploit for inferring group accounts.