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Abstract: We study the structure of social networks of students by examining the graphsof Facebook -friendships- at five American universities at a single point intime. We investigate each single-institution network-s community structure andemploy graphical and quantitative tools, including standardized pair-countingmethods, to measure the correlations between the network communities and a setof self-identified user characteristics residence, class year, major, and highschool. We review the basic properties and statistics of the pair-countingindices employed and recall, in simplified notation, a useful analyticalformula for the z-score of the Rand coefficient. Our study illustrates how toexamine different instances of social networks constructed in similarenvironments, emphasizes the array of social forces that combine to form-communities,- and leads to comparative observations about online social livesthat can be used to infer comparisons about offline social structures. In ourillustration of this methodology, we calculate the relative contributions ofdifferent characteristics to the community structure of individual universitiesand subsequently compare these relative contributions at differentuniversities, measuring for example the importance of common high schoolaffiliation to large state universities and the varying degrees of influencecommon major can have on the social structure at different universities. Theheterogeneity of communities that we observe indicates that these networkstypically have multiple organizing factors rather than a single dominant one.



Author: Amanda L. Traud, Eric D. Kelsic, Peter J. Mucha, Mason A. Porter

Source: https://arxiv.org/







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