Identification and role of opinion leaders in information diffusion for online discussion network

Ateeq Ur Rehman, Aimin Jiang, Abdul Rehman, Anand Paul, Sadia din, Muhammad Tariq Sadiq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social networks are playing a vibrant role in spreading information among its users. With the ongoing boom in technology, social networks are becoming very popular nowadays and are made up of a multitude of users. Some of these users may have a strong influence on the other network users depending on their uncommon elevated values of betweenness centrality (BC). In the online discussion network such as Twitter, the extremely important users are called Opinion Leaders, who play a vital role in the spread of information in an efficient and fast way and keep the isolates interested in the online discussion network. One of the most significant problems in the associated sector is the identification of opinion leaders. In this paper, opinion leaders are chosen based on various centrality measures. The central users are identified based on their in-degree and out-degree links and are ranked within the network by their BC values. Furthermore, we analyze community evolution by using the standard Louvain algorithm. The experiment is performed on publicly available Higgs Boson data from Twitter. The conversation starter and influencer have been observed as an opinion leader for each network. These users have been observed to play a crucial part in the dissemination of information in an online discussion network.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Nature Science Foundation of China under grants 61471157, 61772090, and 61801055, in part by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under Grant 2018B23014, and in part by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (NRF-2017R1C1B5017464).


  • Centrality
  • Complex networks
  • Opinion leaders
  • Social networks
  • Twitter


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