Graph Convolutional Networks with Markov Random Field Reasoning for Social Spammer Detection

  • Yongji Wu University of Science and Technology of China
  • Defu Lian University of Science and Technology of China
  • Yiheng Xu Harbin Institute of Technology
  • Le Wu Hefei University of Technology
  • Enhong Chen University of Science and Technology of China


The recent growth of social networking platforms also led to the emergence of social spammers, who overwhelm legitimate users with unwanted content. The existing social spammer detection methods can be characterized into two categories: features based ones and propagation-based ones. Features based methods mainly rely on matrix factorization using tweet text features, and regularization using social graphs is incorporated. However, these methods are fully supervised and can only utilize labeled part of social graphs, which fail to work in a real-world semi-supervised setting. The propagation-based methods primarily employ Markov Random Fields (MRFs) to capture human intuitions in user following relations, which cannot take advantages of rich text features. In this paper, we propose a novel social spammer detection model based on Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs) that operate on directed social graphs by explicitly considering three types of neighbors. Furthermore, inspired by the propagation-based methods, we propose a MRF layer with refining effects to encapsulate these human insights in social relations, which can be formulated as a RNN through mean-field approximate inference, and stack on top of GCN layers to enable end-to-end training. We evaluate our proposed method on two real-world social network datasets, and the results demonstrate that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches.

AAAI Technical Track: Applications