The Physics of Friendship (This is an easy to read writeup on the actual paper)The paper is also an example of how you can use surveys to reconstruct networks and dynamics, relevant to my previous post 'Where does the money go?' and the discussion around it. It would be interesting to see how such social networks in small villages differ from those in large cities particularly with respect to trade (as opposed to friendships). Could be quite telling about how our microentrepreneurs do business since how they bump into each other would be totally different from the way we technology enabled urban folk do.
By comparing people to mobile particles randomly bouncing off each other, scientists have developed a new model for social networks. The model fits with empirical data to naturally reproduce the community structure, clustering and evolution of general acquaintances and even sexual contacts.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The Physics of Friendship: Do we make friendships no differently than a bunch of particles bouncing around?