Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Why Rumors Spread Fast in Social Networks

21.05.2012
Information spreads fast in social networks. This could be observed during recent events. Now computer scientists from the German Saarland University provide the mathematical proof for this and come up with a surprising explanation.

“It is fascinating,” Tobias Friedrich of the Cluster of Excellence on “Multimodal Computing and Interaction” says. He points out that so far, it has been assumed that the uncontrolled growth in social networks creates a structure on which information spreads very fast. “But now we can prove it in a mathematical way,” says Friedrich, who leads the independent research group “Random Structures and Algorithms.”

Together with his research colleagues Benjamin Doerr, adjunct professor for algorithms and complexity at Saarland University, and the PhD student Mahmoud Fouz he proved that information spreads in social networks much faster than in networks where everyone communicates with everyone else, or in networks whose structure is totally random.

The scientists explain their results through the successful combination of persons with many contacts and persons with only a few contacts. “A person who keeps only a few connections can inform all of these contacts very fast,” Friedrich says. Additionally, it can be proved that among these few contacts there always is a highly networked person who is contacted by a lot of other people in the social network, the scientist points out. “Therefore everybody in these networks gets informed rapidly.”

To model how people connect with each other in a social network, the scientists chose so-called preferential attachment graphs as a basic network model. It assumes that new members of a social network would more likely connect to a person maintaining many connections than to a person with only a few contacts. The communication within the network is based on the model that every person regularly exchanges all information with his or her contacts, but never speaks to the person contacted in the previous communication round.

It took the scientists twelve pages to write down the mathematical proof. They explain the concept of the proof more simply in the article “Why Rumors Spread Fast in Social Networks,” published in the peer-reviewed magazine “Communications of the ACM” in June.

Computer Science on the Saarland University campus

A unique number of renowned computer science institutes do research on the campus in Saarbrucken, Germany. In addition to the computer science faculty and the Cluster of Excellence, these include the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the Center for IT Security, Privacy and Accountability and the Intel Visual Computing Institute.

See also:
Social Networks Spread Rumors in Sublogarithmic Time
www.mpi-inf.mpg.de/~tfried/paper/2012CACM.pdf
For further information please contact:
Tobias Friedrich
Cluster of Excellence “Multimodal Computing and Interaction"
Phone: 0681 9325 1055
E-Mail: t.friedrich@mpi-inf.mpg.de
Gordon Bolduan
Science Communication
Cluster of Excellence “Multimodal Computing and Interaction"
Phone: 0681 302-70741
E-Mail: bolduan@mmci.uni-saarland.de

Saar - Uni - Presseteam | Universität des Saarlandes
Further information:
http://www.uni-saarland.de
http://www.mpi-inf.mpg.de/~tfried/paper/2012CACM.pdf

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>