Language and Social Dynamics

Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil
Cornell University

More and more of life is now manifested online, and many of the digital traces that are left by human activity are in natural-language format. In this talk I will show how exploiting these resources under a computational framework can bring a new understanding of online social dynamics; I will be discussing three of my efforts in this direction.

The first project explores the relation between users and their community, as revealed by patterns of linguistic change. I will show that users follow a determined life-cycle with respect to their susceptibility to adopt new community norms, and how this insight can be harnessed to predict how long a user will stay active in the community.

The second project proposes a computational framework for identifying and characterizing politeness, a central force shaping our communication behavior. I will show how this framework can be used to study the social aspects of politeness, revealing new interactions with social status and community membership.

I will conclude by showing that conversational patterns can be predictive of the future evolution of a dyadic relationship. In particular, I will characterize friendships that are unlikely to last and examine temporal patterns that foretell betrayal in the context of the Diplomacy strategy game.

This talk includes joint work with Jordan Boyd-Graber, Dan Jurafsky, Srijan Kumar, Jure Leskovec, Vlad Niculae, Christopher Potts, Moritz Sudhof and Robert West.

Back to Workshop IV: Mathematical Analysis of Cultural Expressive Forms: Text Data