DNA-Inspired Online Behavioral Modeling and Its Application to Spambot Detection

Stefano Cresci, Roberto Di Pietro, Marinella Petrocchi, Angelo Spognardi, Maurizio Tesconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


A novel, simple, and effective approach to modeling online user behavior extracts and analyzes digital DNA sequences from user online actions and uses Twitter as a benchmark to test the proposal. Specifically, the model obtains an incisive and compact DNA-inspired characterization of user actions. Then, standard DNA analysis techniques discriminate between genuine and spambot accounts on Twitter. An experimental campaign supports the proposal, showing its effectiveness and viability. Although Twitter spambot detection is a specific use case on a specific social media platform, the proposed methodology is platform and technology agnostic, paving the way for diverse behavioral characterization tasks.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Intelligent Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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