On Influencing the Influential: Disparity Seeding

Ya Wen Teng, Hsi Wen Chen, De Nian Yang, Yvonne Anne Pignolet, Ting Wei Li, Lydia Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Online social networks have become a crucial medium to disseminate the latest political, commercial, and social information. Users with high visibility are often selected as seeds to spread information and affect their adoption in target groups. We study how gender differences and similarities can impact the information spreading process. Using a large-scale Instagram dataset and a small-scale Facebook dataset, we first conduct a multi-faceted analysis taking the interaction type, directionality and frequency into account. To this end, we explore a variety of existing and new single and multihop centrality measures. Our analysis unveils that males and females interact differently depending on the interaction types, e.g., likes or comments, and they feature different support and promotion patterns. We complement prior work showing that females do not reach top visibility (often referred to as the glass ceiling effect) jointly factoring in the connectivity and interaction intensity, both of which were previously mainly discussed independently. Inspired by these observations, we propose a novel seeding framework, called Disparity Seeding, which aims at maximizing spread while reaching a target user group, e.g., a certain percentage of females - promoting the influence of under-represented groups. Disparity Seeding ranks influential users with two gender-aware measures, the Target HI-index and the Embedding index. Extensive simulations comparing Disparity Seeding with target-agnostic algorithms show that Disparity Seeding meets the target percentage while effectively maximizing the spread. Disparity Seeding can be generalized to counter different types of inequality, e.g., race, and proactively promote minorities in the society.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCIKM 2021 - Proceedings of the 30th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450384469
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event30th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2021 - Virtual, Online, Australia
Duration: 1 Nov 20215 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


Conference30th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • disparity ratio
  • glass ceiling
  • influence maximization


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