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The strength of long-range ties in population-scale social networks

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Science  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6421, pp. 1410-1413
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau9735
  • Fig. 1 Tie range is defined as the second-shortest (blue) path length between two connected (red) nodes.

  • Fig. 2 The strength of social ties by tie range.

    Results are shown for eight Twitter networks (A) and three phone networks (B). Tie strength [mean and 99% confidence interval (CI)] is measured as the log of the frequency of bidirected @mentions (A) and the log of total bidirected call volume in seconds (B).

  • Fig. 3 Network wormholes in Singapore’s Twitter network.

    Each dot represents an individual, and each edge represents a bidirected @mention. Nodes and edges are colored according to membership in distinct network communities (31). A sample of network wormholes (with range six or above and above-median tie strength) is shown in yellow. The inset highlights a single wormhole of range eight, i.e., the second-shortest path between the yellow nodes requires traversing eight intermediary ties (blue edges). The sizes of the nodes in the inset are proportional to the number of network neighbors.

  • Fig. 4 Within-individual and between-individual decomposition of tie strength (mean and 99% CI) by tie range.

    The first row shows the within-individual relationship for Twitter (A) and phone networks (B), where the z-score is calculated by standardizing each tie with the individual’s average and standard deviation of tie strength. The second row shows the between-individual relationship for Twitter (C) and phone networks (D), where the z-score is calculated by standardizing each individual’s average tie strength with the grand mean and standard deviation of the entire network. The tie range in the second row represents the average range of each individual’s ties, rounded to the nearest integer.

Supplementary Materials

  • The strength of long-range ties in population-scale social networks

    Patrick S. Park, Joshua E. Blumenstock, Michael W. Macy

    Materials/Methods, Supplementary Text, Tables, Figures, and/or References

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    • Materials and Methods 
    • Figs. S1 to S18
    • Tables S1 to S4
    • References 

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