Exploring the community structure of a diabetes forum

André Dias, Taridzo Chomutare, Taxiarchis Botsis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


A health forum is a kind of social network where users share information for specific topics they create. The purpose of this study was the identification of the key actors and the user communities in such a network. We used the publicly available data from a diabetes forum to create the corresponding network and explore several algorithms for the detection of user communities. The degree centrality of the network followed the power law distribution demonstrating that only a few users were the key actors in the forum. It was also shown that it is feasible to infer the top communities from a forum using certain algorithms; the key actors participated in these communities. Our approach could be applied to other health forums and be extended to examine additional aspects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQuality of Life Through Quality of Information - Proceedings of MIE 2012
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781614991007
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event24th Medical Informatics in Europe Conference, MIE 2012 - Pisa, Italy
Duration: Aug 26 2012Aug 29 2012

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other24th Medical Informatics in Europe Conference, MIE 2012


  • Diabetes
  • Health forum
  • Network analysis
  • Social network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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