Geographic Constraints on Social Network Groups

Jukka-Pekka Onnela, Samuel Arbesman, Marta C. González, Albert-László Barabási, Nicholas A. Christakis, Matjaz Perc
2011 PLoS ONE  
Social groups are fundamental building blocks of human societies. While our social interactions have always been constrained by geography, it has been impossible, due to practical difficulties, to evaluate the nature of this restriction on social group structure. We construct a social network of individuals whose most frequent geographical locations are also known. We also classify the individuals into groups according to a community detection algorithm. We study the variation of geographical
more » ... an for social groups of varying sizes, and explore the relationship between topological positions and geographic positions of their members. We find that small social groups are geographically very tight, but become much more clumped when the group size exceeds about 30 members. Also, we find no correlation between the topological positions and geographic positions of individuals within network communities. These results suggest that spreading processes face distinct structural and spatial constraints.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016939 pmid:21483665 pmcid:PMC3071679 fatcat:xpt3kf2lvjesfnolaxhbq23xhq