Networks in the News

The Social Bow Tie

A recent study investigated a new way to identify the strength of ties. Using two different large datasets, the researchers found that for each pair of individuals, a bow tie structure of the network itself is strongly associated with the strength of ties between them that the researchers measure in other ways. The abstract... read more »

 

The Strength of Absent Ties: Social Integration via Online Dating

by Josué Ortega and Philipp Hergovich We used to marry people to which we were somehow connected to: friends of friends, schoolmates, neighbors. Since we were more connected to people similar to us, we were likely to marry someone from our own race. However, online dating has changed this pattern: people who meet online... read more »

 

Decentralized Social Networks Sound Great: Too Bad They’ll Never Work

by Chelsea Barabas, Neha Narula, and Ethan Zuckerman Over the last 13 years, Facebook has evolved from a lifestyle site for college kids into a cornerstone of civic life. It is one of a handful of very large platforms that dominate our online world. As such platforms have gained traction, the web has transformed from an... read more »

 

How does network structure influence the wisdom of crowds?

Researchers at Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania recently published a paper about “Network dynamics of social influence in the wisdom of crowds” in PNAS. They conducted an online network experiment where participants were asked to estimate numeric quantity (e.g., the caloric content)... read more »

 

Social networks may one day diagnose disease–but at a cost

by Sam Volchenboum The world is becoming one big clinical trial. Humanity is generating streams of data from different sources every second. And this information, continuously flowing from social media, mobile GPS and wifi locations, search history, drugstore rewards cards, wearable devices, and much more, can provide... read more »

 

Emotion shapes the diffusion of moralized content in social networks

by William J. Brady, Julian A. Willis, John T. Tost, Joshua A. Tucker, and Jay J. Van Bavel Political debate concerning moralized issues is increasingly common in online social networks. However, moral psychology has yet to incorporate the study of social networks to investigate processes by which some moral ideas spread... read more »

 

Cuba’s illegal gaming network serves the community

Cuba’s desire for digital connectivity has led to the organization and development of the “Street Network”. It acts as a social community as well as an alternative to government-controlled and regulated Internet service. Gaming online was a key motivator in the network’s development, but it now contains... read more »

 

The ‘time machine’ reconstructing ancient Venice’s social networks

Machine-learning project will analyse 1,000 years of maps and manuscripts from the floating city’s golden age. History hangs heavy at the Frari, and computer scientist Frédéric Kaplan likes it that way. He has an ambition to capture well over 1,000 years of records in dynamic digital form, encompassing the glorious... read more »

 

How to judge a book by its network

Taking advantage of the ‘customers who bought this item also bought’ feature of online commerce, this study constructed a co-purchase network of political books and science books. Researches found a clear division, which they label “partisan differences in the consumption of science”. Both groups bought science... read more »

 

Bad bots do good: Random artificial intelligence helps people coordinate

“To figure out whether random AI can help people coordinate, Hirokazu Shirado, a sociologist and systems engineer, and Nicholas Christakis, a sociologist and physician, both at Yale University, asked volunteers to play a simple online game. Each person controlled one node among 20 in a network. The nodes were colored... read more »