Many real-world relations can be represented by signed networks with positive links (e.g., friendships and trust) and negative links (e.g., foes and distrust). Link prediction helps advance tasks in social network analysis such as recommendation systems. Most existing work on link analysis focuses on unsigned social networks. The existence of negative links piques research interests in investigating whether properties and principles of signed networks differ from those of unsigned networks and mandates dedicated efforts on link analysis for signed social networks. Recent findings suggest that properties of signed networks substantially differ from those of unsigned networks and negative links can be of significant help in signed link analysis in complementary ways. In this article,we center our discussion on a challenging problem of signed link analysis. Signed link analysis faces the problem of data sparsity, i.e., only a small percentage of signed links are given. This problem can even getworse when negative links are much sparser than positive ones as users are inclined more toward positive disposition rather than negative. We investigate how we can take advantage of other sources of information for signed link analysis. This research is mainly guided by three social science theories, Emotional Information, Diffusion of Innovations, and Individual Personality. Guided by these, we extract three categories of related features and leverage them for signed link analysis. Experiments showthe significance of the features gleaned from social theories for signed link prediction and addressing the data sparsity challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA11
JournalACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 9 2020


  • Data sparsity
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Emotional information
  • Feature engineering
  • Individual personality
  • Signed link analysis
  • Social theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Artificial Intelligence


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