Dynamic Hawkes Processes For Discovering Time-Evolving Communities' States Behind Diffusion Processes

This paper by researchers at NTT Service Evolution Labs, NTT Communication Science Labs and Kyoto University explores dynamic Hawkes processes:

Sequences of events including infectious disease outbreaks, social network activities, and crimes are ubiquitous and the data on such events carry essential information about the underlying diffusion processes between communities (e.g., regions, online user groups). Modeling diffusion processes and predicting future events are crucial in many applications including epidemic control, viral marketing, and predictive policing. Hawkes processes offer a central tool for modeling the diffusion processes, in which the influence from the past events is described by the triggering kernel. However, the triggering kernel parameters, which govern how each community is influenced by the past events, are assumed to be static over time. In the real world, the diffusion processes depend not only on the influences from the past, but also the current (time-evolving) states of the communities, e.g., people’s awareness of the disease and people’s current interests. In this paper, we propose a novel Hawkes process model that is able to capture the underlying dynamics of community states behind the diffusion processes and predict the occurrences of events based on the dynamics. Specifically, we model the latent dynamic function that encodes these hidden dynamics by a mixture of neural networks. Then we design the triggering kernel using the latent dynamic function and its integral. The proposed method, termed DHP (Dynamic Hawkes Processes), offers a flexible way to learn complex representations of the time-evolving communities’ states, while at the same time it allows to computing the exact likelihood, which makes parameter learning tractable. Extensive experiments on four real-world event datasets show that DHP outperforms five widely adopted methods for event prediction.

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