How People Interact in Evolving Online Affiliation Networks
2012 (English)In: PHYSICAL REVIEW X, ISSN 2160-3308, Vol. 2, no 3, 031014- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The study of human interactions is of central importance for understanding the behavior of individuals, groups, and societies. Here, we observe the formation and evolution of networks by monitoring the addition of all new links, and we analyze quantitatively the tendencies used to create ties in these evolving online affiliation networks. We show that an accurate estimation of these probabilistic tendencies can be achieved only by following the time evolution of the network. Inferences about the reason for the existence of links using statistical analysis of network snapshots must therefore be made with great caution. Here, we start by characterizing every single link when the tie was established in the network. This information allows us to describe the probabilistic tendencies of tie formation and extract meaningful sociological conclusions. We also find significant differences in behavioral traits in the social tendencies among individuals according to their degree of activity, gender, age, popularity, and other attributes. For instance, in the particular data sets analyzed here, we find that women reciprocate connections 3 times as much as men and that this difference increases with age. Men tend to connect with the most popular people more often than women do, across all ages. On the other hand, triangular tie tendencies are similar, independent of gender, and show an increase with age. These results require further validation in other social settings. Our findings can be useful to build models of realistic social network structures and to discover the underlying laws that govern establishment of ties in evolving social networks.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 2, no 3, 031014- p.
Other Physics Topics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82988DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.2.031014ISI: 000310515400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-82988DiVA: diva2:575013