Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People tend to communicate with similar people, even more than previously thought

Date:
October 23, 2013
Source:
Aalto University
Summary:
People’s tendency to communicate with similar people is stronger than earlier believed, which restricts the flow of information and ideas in social networks.

The timings of the calls (red arrows) allow researchers to extract patterns of people's social behaviour from large amounts of data.
Credit: Image courtesy of Aalto University

People's tendency to communicate with similar people is stronger than earlier believed, which restricts the flow of information and ideas in social networks. These are the findings that an Aalto University research group will publish this week in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The results were obtained by means of a computational method developed by the research group and then applied to massive amounts of anonymised mobile phone call data. The data came from a mobile phone operator's billing system and includes detailed information about the timing of hundreds of millions of mobile phone calls and the age, gender and billing types of anonymised callers and recipients.

The research is linked to computational social science, an area of multidisciplinary research that has become highly important in recent years. In this area, computational methods are used to mine information about human behavior from massive data sets. Rather than focusing on the individual, computational social science strives to understand general properties in the behavior of large groups of people. This contrasts with data collection and mining used for intelligence purposes, which has recently attracted a lot of publicity. Furthermore, the data used is always anonymised.

The research group's computational method is based on statistical analysis of the precise timing of phone calls. This allowed researchers to show that various patterns where phone calls immediately follow each other (for example, A calls B, who then calls C) are more common between people who are similar in terms of age, gender and mutual friends than could be observed based only on numbers of calls made.

Application of the developed method is not only limited to research on communication between people; it also has potential uses in areas like brain research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aalto University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Kovanen, K. Kaski, J. Kertesz, J. Saramaki. Temporal motifs reveal homophily, gender-specific patterns, and group talk in call sequences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1307941110

Cite This Page:

Aalto University. "People tend to communicate with similar people, even more than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090714.htm>.
Aalto University. (2013, October 23). People tend to communicate with similar people, even more than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090714.htm
Aalto University. "People tend to communicate with similar people, even more than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131023090714.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

Nintendo Changed Gaming World, but Its Future Uncertain: Upstone

AFP (Apr. 19, 2014) The Nintendo Game Boy celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday and game expert Stephen Upstone says the console can be credited with creating a trend towards handheld gaming devices. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Nearly Two Weeks On, The Internet Copes With Heartbleed

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) The Internet is taking important steps in patching the vulnerabilities Heartbleed highlighted, but those preventive measures carry their own costs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Facebook To Share Nearby Friends Data With Advertisers

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the company will use GPS data from the new Nearby Friends feature for advertising sometime in the future. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins