A multiscale survival process for modeling human activity patterns

Tianyang Zhang, Peng Cui, Chaoming Song, Wenwu Zhu, Shiqiang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Human activity plays a central role in understanding large-scale social dynamics. It is well documented that individual activity pattern follows bursty dynamics characterized by heavytailed interevent time distributions. Here we study a large-scale online chatting dataset consisting of 5,549,570 users, finding that individual activity pattern varies with timescales whereas existing models only approximate empirical observations within a limited timescale. We propose a novel approach that models the intensity rate of an individual triggering an activity. We demonstrate that the model precisely captures corresponding human dynamics across multiple timescales over five orders of magnitudes. Our model also allows extracting the population heterogeneity of activity patterns, characterized by a set of individual-specific ingredients. Integrating our approach with social interactions leads to a wide range of implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0151473
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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