Instantaneous success and influence promotion in cyberspace — how do they occur?

Ya Chen, Xue Li, Richong Zhang, Zi Gang Huang, Ying Cheng Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The popularity of online social networks has opened a window through which the dynamical evolution of human behaviors in cyberspace may be studied. In cyberspace, individuals interact with each other through online social networks (OSNs) whose structure co-evolves with the dynamical process. A phenomenon in OSNs is “instantaneous” success, where the influence of an individual can be suddenly and greatly promoted after his/her messages have been reposted by influential users in the network. Using data crawled from Weibo in China, we identify two key ingredients contributing to this phenomenon: the fitness of the message and the position that its author occupies in the network. We articulate a five-state model for co-evolution dynamics on OSNs to explain instantaneous success and permanent influence promotion. Our study provides fundamental insights into human behaviors in cyberspace that is playing an increasingly important role in society, economy, and national defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124725
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020


  • Complex networks
  • Human behaviors
  • Social influence
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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