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MIT prof and student discover algorithm for predicting trending Twitter topics


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Predicting the future of Twitter's trending topics is, as of right now, an impossibility. But two folks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may have cracked the code with an algorithm they're saying predicts -- with 95 percent accuracy -- the topics that will trend in the next hour and a half. The prediction has even been calculated as high as four to five hours ahead of time with the same level of accuracy. Not too bad!

Of course, beyond impressing friends with the predictions, the algorithm has direct implications for the likes of Twitter itself -- being able to sell ads against trending topics could benefit the social media company enormously in its ongoing quest to monetize. At any rate, it's distinctly less dangerous sounding than the last idea we heard involving Twitter and predictions. The algorithm will be presented next week at MIT's Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks, should you wish to dig into the nitty gritty of the math behind the madness.

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