Modelling Reciprocating Relationships with Hawkes Processes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

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Charles Blundell, Jeff Beck, Katherine A. Heller


We present a Bayesian nonparametric model that discovers implicit social structure from interaction time-series data. Social groups are often formed implicitly, through actions among members of groups. Yet many models of social networks use explicitly declared relationships to infer social structure. We consider a particular class of Hawkes processes, a doubly stochastic point process, that is able to model reciprocity between groups of individuals. We then extend the Infinite Relational Model by using these reciprocating Hawkes processes to parameterise its edges, making events associated with edges co-dependent through time. Our model outperforms general, unstructured Hawkes processes as well as structured Poisson process-based models at predicting verbal and email turn-taking, and military conflicts among nations.