The concept of social networks, in the age of Twitter and Facebook, seems like a really banal one. Social networks, however, have turned out to be a fertile ground for scientific studies of human interactions by not only social scientists, but also by physicists, from which we gain illuminating insights about ourselves and our societies. For example, why, and how, do we make new friends or establish fresh social ties? In this paper, we show that meaningful answers to these questions can be learned, by bringing concepts and methods from statistical physics to bear in a new analysis of the detailed growth dynamics of two networks associated with two online social-networking sites.
How People Interact in Evolving Online Affiliation Networks
Lazaros K. Gallos, Diego Rybski, Fredrik Liljeros, Shlomo Havlin, and Hernán A. Makse