Deep neural networks for bot detection

Kudugunta, Sneha and Ferrara, Emilio (2018) Deep neural networks for bot detection. Information Sciences, 467. pp. 312-322. ISSN 0020-0255

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The problem of detecting bots, automated social media accounts governed by software but disguising as human users, has strong implications. For example, bots have been used to sway political elections by distorting online discourse, to manipulate the stock market, or to push anti-vaccine conspiracy theories that may have caused health epidemics. Most techniques proposed to date detect bots at the account level, by processing large amounts of social media posts, and leveraging information from network structure, temporal dynamics, sentiment analysis, etc. In this paper, we propose a deep neural network based on contextual long short-term memory (LSTM) architecture that exploits both content and metadata to detect bots at the tweet level: contextual features are extracted from user metadata and fed as auxiliary input to LSTM deep nets processing the tweet text. Another contribution that we make is proposing a technique based on synthetic minority oversampling to generate a large labeled dataset, suitable for deep nets training, from a minimal amount of labeled data (roughly 3000 examples of sophisticated Twitter bots). We demonstrate that, from just one single tweet, our architecture can achieve high classification accuracy (AUC > 96%) in separating bots from humans. We apply the same architecture to account-level bot detection, achieving nearly perfect classification accuracy (AUC > 99%). Our system outperforms previous state of the art while leveraging a small and interpretable set of features, yet requiring minimal training data.

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Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Deep learning, Deep neural networks, Social bots, Social media networks, Web and social media
Subjects: Computer science
Divisions: Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2018 05:23
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2018 05:23
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