Who is next: rising star prediction via diffusion of user interest in social networks

arXiv (Cornell University)(2022)

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Abstract
Finding items with potential to increase sales is of great importance in online market. In this paper, we propose to study this novel and practical problem: rising star prediction. We call these potential items Rising Star, which implies their ability to rise from low-turnover items to best-sellers in the future. Rising stars can be used to help with unfair recommendation in e-commerce platform, balance supply and demand to benefit the retailers and allocate marketing resources rationally. Although the study of rising star can bring great benefits, it also poses challenges to us. The sales trend of rising star fluctuates sharply in the short-term and exhibits more contingency caused by some external events (e.g., COVID-19 caused increasing purchase of the face mask) than other items, which cannot be solved by existing sales prediction methods. To address above challenges, in this paper, we observe that the presence of rising stars is closely correlated with the early diffusion of user interest in social networks, which is validated in the case of Taocode (an intermediary that diffuses user interest in Taobao). Thus, we propose a novel framework, RiseNet, to incorporate the user interest diffusion process with the item dynamic features to effectively predict rising stars. Specifically, we adopt a coupled mechanism to capture the dynamic interplay between items and user interest, and a special designed GNN based framework to quantify user interest. Our experimental results on large-scale real-world datasets provided by Taobao demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed framework.
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Key words
star prediction,social networks,user interest,diffusion
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