Explicit Time Embedding Based Cascade Attention Network for Information Popularity Prediction

by   Xigang Sun, et al.

Predicting information cascade popularity is a fundamental problem in social networks. Capturing temporal attributes and cascade role information (e.g., cascade graphs and cascade sequences) is necessary for understanding the information cascade. Current methods rarely focus on unifying this information for popularity predictions, which prevents them from effectively modeling the full properties of cascades to achieve satisfactory prediction performances. In this paper, we propose an explicit Time embedding based Cascade Attention Network (TCAN) as a novel popularity prediction architecture for large-scale information networks. TCAN integrates temporal attributes (i.e., periodicity, linearity, and non-linear scaling) into node features via a general time embedding approach (TE), and then employs a cascade graph attention encoder (CGAT) and a cascade sequence attention encoder (CSAT) to fully learn the representation of cascade graphs and cascade sequences. We use two real-world datasets (i.e., Weibo and APS) with tens of thousands of cascade samples to validate our methods. Experimental results show that TCAN obtains mean logarithm squared errors of 2.007 and 1.201 and running times of 1.76 hours and 0.15 hours on both datasets, respectively. Furthermore, TCAN outperforms other representative baselines by 10.4 R-squared on average while maintaining good interpretability.


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