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Physics  2009 

Orientation in Social Networks

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Stanley Milgram's small world experiment presents "six degrees of separation" of our world. One phenomenon of the experiment still puzzling us is that how individuals operating with the social network information with their characteristics can be very adept at finding the short chains. The previous works on this issue focus whether on the methods of navigation in a given network structure, or on the effects of additional information to the searching process. In this paper, we emphasize that the growth and shape of network architecture is tightly related to the individuals' attributes. We introduce a method to reconstruct nodes' intimacy degree based on local interaction. Then we provide an intimacy based approach for orientation in networks. We find that the basic reason of efficient search in social networks is that the degree of "intimacy" of each pair of nodes decays with the length of their shortest path exponentially. Meanwhile, the model can explain the hubs limitation which was observed in real-world experiment.


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