Contagion of Cheating Behaviors in Online Social Networks

1.  Introduction
Human behaviors are known to spread through social contact. The diffusion process on social networks has also been leveraged to understand the spread of undesirable contagion. The contagion of malicious or even criminal behaviors in online social networks is just beginning to attract attention. Here, we study the social contagion problem of cheating behavior found in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that provides a lifelike environment with rich and realistic user interactions. Because cheating users boast an abnormal thus conspicuous degree of success, it has a strong chance of being noticed by their friends and leading them to cheat themselves. To detect and prevent cheating, it is beneficial to understand this dynamic as a contagion problem. In this paper, we show the existence of the contagion of cheating. We then explore various possible social reinforcement mechanisms after introducing several factors to quantify the effect of social reinforcement on the contagion and analyze the dynamics of bot diffusion in an extensive user interaction log from a major MMORPG.

2.  Publication

Woo, Jiyoung, et al. "Contagion of Cheating Behaviors in Online Social Networks." IEEE Access 6 (2018): 29098-29108.

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3. Dataset Release

For academic purposes, we are happy to release our Dataset. 

The data we analyzed comes from Aion, an MMORPG serviced by NCSoft, Inc., a major Korean game developer and service provider. First released in Korea in 2008, Aion is now serviced in China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Europe, North America, and Russia. We used the data from a server among over 40 servers. The game company operates several servers to maintain clients and increases servers as users increases. Users can select a server when they start a game. Thus, it can be said that the data collected from a server among many server is a random sample. 

The data contains anonymized records of in-game interactions and bot detection events between December 21, 2010, and March 21, 2012. In total, 94,444 unique characters were played by 39,416 unique players, among these 14,326 characters of 11,259 players were suspected of game bot use. A total of 3,629,282 actions were detected to be taken by game bots.

  • Social Reinforcement Log
  • Bot Detection Log
  • Buddy Log 
                       └ Dataset Download Link:

Contact : Jiyoung Woo (jywoo at ), Huy Kang Kim (cenda at

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