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Proceedings Paper

The role of edge weights in social networks: modelling structure and dynamics
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Paper Abstract

The structure of social networks influences dynamic processes of human interaction and communication, such as opinion formation and spreading of information or infectious diseases. To facilitate simulation studies of such processes, we have developed a weighted network model to resemble the structure of real social networks, in particular taking into account recent observations on weight-topology correlations. The model iterates on a fixed size network, reaching a steady state through processes of weighted local searches, global random attachment, and random deletion of nodes. There are essentially two parameters which can be used to tune network properties. The generated networks display community structure, with strong internal links and weak links connecting the communities. Similarly to empirical observations, strong ties correlate with overlapping neighbourhoods, and under edge removal, the network becomes fragmented faster when weak ties are removed first. As an example of the effects that such structural properties have on dynamic processes, we present early results from studies of social dynamics describing the competition of two non-excluding opinions in a society, showing that the weighted community structure slows down the dynamics as compared to randomized references.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 June 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6601, Noise and Stochastics in Complex Systems and Finance, 66010B (15 June 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.725557
Show Author Affiliations
Riitta Toivonen, Helsinki Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Jussi M. Kumpula, Helsinki Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Jari Saramäki, Helsinki Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Jukka-Pekka Onnela, Helsinki Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
János Kertész, Helsinki Univ. of Technology (Finland)
Budapest Univ. of Technology and Economics (Hungary)
Kimmo Kaski, Helsinki Univ. of Technology (Finland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6601:
Noise and Stochastics in Complex Systems and Finance
János Kertész; Stefan Bornholdt; Rosario N. Mantegna, Editor(s)

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