3 years ago

Are the different layers of a social network conveying the same information?.

Roland Bouffanais, Ajaykumar Manivannan, Alain Barrat, W. Quin Yow

Comprehensive and quantitative investigations of social theories and phenomena increasingly benefit from the vast breadth of data describing human social relations, which is now available within the realm of computational social science. Such data are, however, typically proxies for one of the many interaction layers composing social networks, which can be defined in many ways and are typically composed of communication of various types (e.g., phone calls, face-to-face communication, etc.). As a result, many studies focus on one single layer, corresponding to the data at hand. Several studies have, however, shown that these layers are not interchangeable, despite the presence of a certain level of correlations between them. Here, we investigate whether different layers of interactions among individuals lead to similar conclusions with respect to the presence of homophily patterns in a population---homophily represents one of the widest studied phenomenon in social networks. To this aim, we consider a dataset describing interactions and links of various nature in a population of Asian students with diverse nationalities, first language and gender. We study homophily patterns, as well as their temporal evolutions in each layer of the social network. To facilitate our analysis, we put forward a general method to assess whether the homophily patterns observed in one layer inform us about patterns in another layer. For instance, our study reveals that three network layers---cell phone communications, questionnaires about friendship, and trust relations---lead to similar and consistent results despite some minor discrepancies. The homophily patterns of the co-presence network layer, however, does not yield any meaningful information about other network layers.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.02874

DOI: arXiv:1801.02874v1

You might also like
Never Miss Important Research

Researcher is an app designed by academics, for academics. Create a personalised feed in two minutes.
Choose from over 15,000 academics journals covering ten research areas then let Researcher deliver you papers tailored to your interests each day.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.