Nowadays, with the widespread access to web 2.0, the social network plays an unbelievable role in knowledge sharing and diffusion of new products. People can share their views and can visit other's opinion about the particular material, news, products, artifacts and, trends, etc. anywhere, anytime, and anywhere. An Opinion leader is a critical person who can change, modify and transform other's view by their knowledge and proficiency. In this article, an innovative approach is proposed to discover the top-N local and global opinion leader within the community and social network respectively. Initially, we identified the community structure within the social network using the modified Louvain method and next identified the opinion leader using a modified firefly algorithm in each community. We also determined the global opinion leader within the same social network using the same firefly algorithm. The proposed approach is exceptionally supportive to expert and intelligent system because it competently discovered the local optimum concurrently in each subgroup of the social network. All the users can update its attractiveness value without any supposition, and as soon as the distance among the user's increases, the other users can automatically create another subgroup in the network and form the local community. In addition, as the population size in the network increases, the entire users measure their prominence simultaneously. Therefore, there is no consequence on computational time and accuracy of the algorithm. Thus, the proposed algorithm is superlative suitable for discovering the opinion leader in the local community and globally in the social network. For legalized the proposed approach, we implemented our proposed method on synthesized as well as on real dataset. Finally, we concluded that both the recommended procedures are much better concerning the accuracy, precision, recall, and F1-score with the widely used standard Social Network Analysis (SNA) measures.
In the current web scenario, social networking is an integral part of human life. These sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, etc. provide the opportunity to interact with another unknown world of known things and human being. Currently, these Websites are the primary source of information transmission and dissimilation (Boyd & Ellison, 2007; Scott, 2000; Wasserman & Faust, 1994). Moreover, social networking sites often provide a platform for the companies for the diffusion of the new product and merchandise (Abrahamson & Rosenkopf, 1997; Bakshy, Rosenn, Marlow, & Adamic, 2012). The success rate of this diffusion is dependent upon identifying the critical users effectively in the social network, such type of person known as an opinion leader. Opinion leader has more incredible significance for the diffusion of the new product. Opinion leader also affects the consumer behavior and decision making by their knowledge and experience about a particular product (Chan & Misra, 1990; Myers & Robertson, 1972). According to Dye (2000), an opinion leader is a person or set of persons having more influence on the customer’s adoption process and decision making. Lazarsfeld et al. have introduced the phenomenon of the opinion leader in their seminar in 1940 and 1950 (Gold, Katz, Lazarsfeld, & Roper, 1956). According to them, identification of opinion leader is a two-step procedure in which in the first step, opinion leader analyzes, examine and understand the end user’s requirements, and in the second step, opinion leader derives their own opinion from the first step incorporated with their knowledge and skills.