Feedback effects between similarity and social influence in online communities

, , , , und . KDD '08: Proceeding of the 14th ACM SIGKDD international conference on Knowledge discovery and data mining, Seite 160--168. New York, NY, USA, ACM, (2008)


A fundamental open question in the analysis of social networks is to understand the interplay between similarity and social ties. People are similar to their neighbors in a social network for two distinct reasons: first, they grow to resemble their current friends due to social influence; and second, they tend to form new links to others who are already like them, a process often termed selection by sociologists. While both factors are present in everyday social processes, they are in tension: social influence can push systems toward uniformity of behavior, while selection can lead to fragmentation. As such, it is important to understand the relative effects of these forces, and this has been a challenge due to the difficulty of isolating and quantifying them in real settings.

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