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Partitioning and Scaling Signed Bipartite Graphs for Polarized Political Blogosphere

Gokalp, Sedat
Temkit, M'hamed
Davulcu, Hasan
Toroslu, İsmail Hakkı
Blogosphere plays an increasingly important role as a forum for public debate. In this paper, given a mixed set of blogs debating a set of political issues from opposing camps, we use signed bipartite graphs for modeling debates, and we propose an algorithm for partitioning both the blogs, and the issues (i.e. topics, leaders, etc.) comprising the debate into binary opposing camps. Simultaneously, our algorithm scales both the blogs and the underlying issues on a univariate scale. Using this scale, a researcher can identify moderate and extreme blogs within each camp, and polarizing vs. unifying issues. Through performance evaluations we show that our proposed algorithm provides an effective solution to the problem, and performs much better than existing baseline algorithms adapted to solve this new problem. In our experiments, we used both real data from political blogosphere and US Congress records, as well as synthetic data which were obtained by varying polarization and degree distribution of the vertices of the graph to show the robustness of our algorithm.