Diversity in Open Social Networks

Daniel Lemire, Stephen Downes, Sebastien Paquet, Website, Oct 09, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Over the summer, Daniel Lemire, Seb Paquet and I got together to try to quantify the advantage of diversity in networks. The idea here is that networks are more robust and less prone to error if their members embrace diversity, as demonstrated by the improved effectiveness of recommender systems. The outcome of that investigation was this paper, in which we show that one aspect of diversity - the having of moire than one connection in a network - reduces the 'big spike' that characterizes more typical 'power law' diagrams of the network, putting all of us - and not just the great unwashed - into the 'long tail'.
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