Limits...
Limited communication capacity unveils strategies for human interaction.

Miritello G, Lara R, Cebrian M, Moro E - Sci Rep (2013)

Bottom Line: Contrary to the perception of ever-growing connectivity, we observe that individuals exhibit a finite communication capacity, which limits the number of ties they can maintain active in time.On average men display higher capacity than women, and this capacity decreases for both genders over their lifespan.This allows us to draw novel relationships between individual strategies for human interaction and the evolution of social networks at global scale.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Departamento de Matemáticas & GISC, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, 28911 Leganés, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Connectivity is the key process that characterizes the structural and functional properties of social networks. However, the bursty activity of dyadic interactions may hinder the discrimination of inactive ties from large interevent times in active ones. We develop a principled method to detect tie de-activation and apply it to a large longitudinal, cross-sectional communication dataset (≈19 months, ≈20 million people). Contrary to the perception of ever-growing connectivity, we observe that individuals exhibit a finite communication capacity, which limits the number of ties they can maintain active in time. On average men display higher capacity than women, and this capacity decreases for both genders over their lifespan. Separating communication capacity from activity reveals a diverse range of tie activation strategies, from stable to exploratory. This allows us to draw novel relationships between individual strategies for human interaction and the evolution of social networks at global scale.

No MeSH data available.


Variability of communication capacity and activity.(A) and (B) show different snapshots of the neighborhood of two different individuals (in red) at 4 equally spaced times in the observation time window t = 52, 105, 158, and 211 days. Each black (grey) line corresponds to an active (inactive) tie at that particular instant. (C) Log-density plot of the communication activity nα,i as a function of the communication capacity κi for each individual in our database. Solid line corresponds to the line  obtained through PCA. Dashed curves are the iso-connectivity lines  for ki = 10, 20, 50.
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f4: Variability of communication capacity and activity.(A) and (B) show different snapshots of the neighborhood of two different individuals (in red) at 4 equally spaced times in the observation time window t = 52, 105, 158, and 211 days. Each black (grey) line corresponds to an active (inactive) tie at that particular instant. (C) Log-density plot of the communication activity nα,i as a function of the communication capacity κi for each individual in our database. Solid line corresponds to the line obtained through PCA. Dashed curves are the iso-connectivity lines for ki = 10, 20, 50.

Mentions: Thus, individual communication can be characterized in terms of his communication capacity and his communication activity nα,i (or rate αi) in a time window. These two quantities give information about two related although not equivalent features of social communication. While the capacity is a measure of the number of relations that a user manages instantaneously, the activity is instead related to the number of relations a user establishes and at what rate. However, as shown in Fig. 4, we observe for a large part of the individuals that with β = 0.75, meaning that the number of created connections tends to be proportional to the communication capacity. This correlation resembles the preferential attachment process by which tie activation is more probable for more connected individuals. Note however that we find that tie activation is here proportional to a conserved quantity and thus grows linearly in time for ; and on top of that, there is a corresponding preferential de-attachment mechanism meaning that individuals with large are also more likely to deactivate ties. Although the dependence explains most of the observed behavior (80% of variance in PCA), there is a still a large variability in our database so that tie evolution cannot be explained solely by . As shown in Fig. 3, for a given number of people contacted in the observation period ki(T) there are many possible combinations of social activity nα,i and capacity which yield to the same ki(T).


Limited communication capacity unveils strategies for human interaction.

Miritello G, Lara R, Cebrian M, Moro E - Sci Rep (2013)

Variability of communication capacity and activity.(A) and (B) show different snapshots of the neighborhood of two different individuals (in red) at 4 equally spaced times in the observation time window t = 52, 105, 158, and 211 days. Each black (grey) line corresponds to an active (inactive) tie at that particular instant. (C) Log-density plot of the communication activity nα,i as a function of the communication capacity κi for each individual in our database. Solid line corresponds to the line  obtained through PCA. Dashed curves are the iso-connectivity lines  for ki = 10, 20, 50.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3674429&req=5

f4: Variability of communication capacity and activity.(A) and (B) show different snapshots of the neighborhood of two different individuals (in red) at 4 equally spaced times in the observation time window t = 52, 105, 158, and 211 days. Each black (grey) line corresponds to an active (inactive) tie at that particular instant. (C) Log-density plot of the communication activity nα,i as a function of the communication capacity κi for each individual in our database. Solid line corresponds to the line obtained through PCA. Dashed curves are the iso-connectivity lines for ki = 10, 20, 50.
Mentions: Thus, individual communication can be characterized in terms of his communication capacity and his communication activity nα,i (or rate αi) in a time window. These two quantities give information about two related although not equivalent features of social communication. While the capacity is a measure of the number of relations that a user manages instantaneously, the activity is instead related to the number of relations a user establishes and at what rate. However, as shown in Fig. 4, we observe for a large part of the individuals that with β = 0.75, meaning that the number of created connections tends to be proportional to the communication capacity. This correlation resembles the preferential attachment process by which tie activation is more probable for more connected individuals. Note however that we find that tie activation is here proportional to a conserved quantity and thus grows linearly in time for ; and on top of that, there is a corresponding preferential de-attachment mechanism meaning that individuals with large are also more likely to deactivate ties. Although the dependence explains most of the observed behavior (80% of variance in PCA), there is a still a large variability in our database so that tie evolution cannot be explained solely by . As shown in Fig. 3, for a given number of people contacted in the observation period ki(T) there are many possible combinations of social activity nα,i and capacity which yield to the same ki(T).

Bottom Line: Contrary to the perception of ever-growing connectivity, we observe that individuals exhibit a finite communication capacity, which limits the number of ties they can maintain active in time.On average men display higher capacity than women, and this capacity decreases for both genders over their lifespan.This allows us to draw novel relationships between individual strategies for human interaction and the evolution of social networks at global scale.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Departamento de Matemáticas & GISC, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, 28911 Leganés, Spain.

ABSTRACT
Connectivity is the key process that characterizes the structural and functional properties of social networks. However, the bursty activity of dyadic interactions may hinder the discrimination of inactive ties from large interevent times in active ones. We develop a principled method to detect tie de-activation and apply it to a large longitudinal, cross-sectional communication dataset (≈19 months, ≈20 million people). Contrary to the perception of ever-growing connectivity, we observe that individuals exhibit a finite communication capacity, which limits the number of ties they can maintain active in time. On average men display higher capacity than women, and this capacity decreases for both genders over their lifespan. Separating communication capacity from activity reveals a diverse range of tie activation strategies, from stable to exploratory. This allows us to draw novel relationships between individual strategies for human interaction and the evolution of social networks at global scale.

No MeSH data available.