Understanding User Behavior in Sina Weibo Online Social Network: A Community Approach

Kai Lei, Ying Liu, Shangru Zhong, Yongbin Liu, Kuai Xu, Ying Shen, Min Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging Website in China, has become the main source of different kinds of information, such as breaking news, social events, and products. There is great value to exploiting the actual interests and behaviors of users, which creates opportunity for better understanding of the information dissemination mechanisms on social network sites. In this paper, we focus our attention to characterizing user behaviors in tweeting, retweeting, and commenting on Sina Weibo. In particular, we built a Shenzhen Weibo community graph to analyze user behaviors, clustering the coefficients of the community graph and exploring the impact of user popularity on social network sites. Bipartite graphs and one-mode projections are used to analyze the similarity of retweeting and commenting activities, which reveal the weak correlations between these two behaviors. In addition, to characterize the user retweeting behaviors deeply, we also study the tweeting and retweeting behaviors in terms of the gender of users. We observe that females are more likely to retweet than males. This discovery is useful for improving the efficiency of message transmission. What is more, we introduce an information-theoretical measure based on the concept of entropy to analyze the temporal tweeting behaviors of users. Finally, we apply a clustering algorithm to divide users into different groups based on their tweeting behaviors, which can improve the design of plenty of applications, such as recommendation systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13302-13316
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - Feb 19 2018


  • Sina Weibo
  • bipartite graphs
  • clustering
  • entropy
  • online social network
  • user behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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