Statistical Models for Exploring Individual Email Communication Behavior


Nicholas Navaroli, Christopher DuBois, Padhraic Smyth ;
Proceedings of the Asian Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 25:317-332, 2012.


As digital communication devices play an increasingly prominent role in our daily lives, the ability to analyze and understand our communication patterns becomes more important. In this paper, we investigate a latent variable modeling approach for extracting information from individual email histories, focusing in particular on understanding how an individual communicates over time with recipients in their social network. The proposed model consists of latent groups of recipients, each of which is associated with a piecewise-constant Poisson rate over time. Inference of group memberships, temporal changepoints, and rate parameters is carried out via Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. We illustrate the utility of the model by applying it to both simulated and real-world email data sets.

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