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Big Data Mining and Analytics  2021, Vol. 4 Issue (4): 242-251    DOI: 10.26599/BDMA.2021.9020010
Coronavirus Pandemic Analysis Through Tripartite Graph Clustering in Online Social Networks
Xueting Liao(),Danyang Zheng*(),Xiaojun Cao()
Department of Computer Science, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
Suzhou Key Laboratory of Advanced Optical Communication Network Technology, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
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The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world hard. The reaction to the pandemic related issues has been pouring into social platforms, such as Twitter. Many public officials and governments use Twitter to make policy announcements. People keep close track of the related information and express their concerns about the policies on Twitter. It is beneficial yet challenging to derive important information or knowledge out of such Twitter data. In this paper, we propose a Tripartite Graph Clustering for Pandemic Data Analysis (TGC-PDA) framework that builds on the proposed models and analysis: (1) tripartite graph representation, (2) non-negative matrix factorization with regularization, and (3) sentiment analysis. We collect the tweets containing a set of keywords related to coronavirus pandemic as the ground truth data. Our framework can detect the communities of Twitter users and analyze the topics that are discussed in the communities. The extensive experiments show that our TGC-PDA framework can effectively and efficiently identify the topics and correlations within the Twitter data for monitoring and understanding public opinions, which would provide policy makers useful information and statistics for decision making.

Key wordsCOVID-19      clustering      online social network      Twitter     
Received: 25 February 2021      Published: 30 August 2021
Corresponding Authors: Danyang Zheng     E-mail:;;
About author: Xueting Liao received the MEng degree from Rutgers University, USA in 2013. She is currently a PhD candidate in computer science at Georgia State University, USA. Her research interests include applications of data mining and graph mining algorithms, social network related analysis, and network related algorithms.|Danyang Zheng received the PhD degree in computer science from Georgia State University, USA in 2021. He is currently an assistant professor at Soochow University, China. His research interests include network function virtualization, software-defined networks, optical networks, networking performance optimization, and combinational optimization.|Xiaojun Cao received the BEng degree from Tsinghua University, China in 1996, the MEng degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences, China in 1999, and the PhD degree in computer science from the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA in 2004. He is currently a professor at the Department of Computer Science, Georgia State University, where he leads the Advanced Network Research Group (aNet). Prior to joining Georgia State University, he was an assistant professor at the College of Computing and Information Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology. He and his group are working on modeling, analysis, protocols/algorithms design, as well as data processing for networks and cyber physical systems. He was a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE ComSoc (2019-2020) and served as the secretary/vice chair/chair for IEEE ComSoc Optical Networking Technical Committee (ONTC). His research has been sponsored by U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IBM, and Cisco’s University Research Program. He is a recipient of NSF Career Award, 2006-2011.
Cite this article:

Xueting Liao,Danyang Zheng,Xiaojun Cao. Coronavirus Pandemic Analysis Through Tripartite Graph Clustering in Online Social Networks. Big Data Mining and Analytics, 2021, 4(4): 242-251.

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Fig. 1 Examples of multipartite graph with different k.
Fig. 2 An example of tripartite graph co-clustering problem.
Fig. 3 An example of tripartite graph in Twitter.
n,m,tNumber of users, tweets, and topics
G?(V,E)Graph with node set V and edge set E
U,T,HNode set of users, tweets, and topics
BMatrix representation of a bipartite graph
Pi,jNumber of paths between node i and node j
LNormalized Laplacian matrix
DDegree matrix: diagonal with [𝑫]i,i=degree?(vi)
𝑭,𝑮Decomposed matrices: 𝑭Ψn×d and 𝑮Ψk×n
SAssociation matrix: 𝑺R+d×k
ΨSet of all cluster indicator matrices
Tr?(𝑿)Trace of matrix X: Tr?(𝑿)=1nxi,i
||𝑿||FFrobenius norm of a matrix X
Table 1 Notation.
Fig. 4 An overview of the TGC-PDA framework.
Fig. 5 Build the user-topic bipartite by removing the tweet nodes of the tripartite graph and leveraging the tweet nodes as the connection for user and topic nodes.
Table 2 Performance results of classifiers.
Fig. 6 Total loss with different numbers of iterations.
Fig. 7 Convergence time of methods.
Table 3 Largest ten communities with its polarity ratio. (%)
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