Clarifying the role of distance in friendships on Twitter: Discovery of a double power-law relationship

Won Yong Shin, Jaehee Cho, André M. Everett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study analyzes friendships in online social networks involving geographic distance with a geo-referenced Twitter dataset, which provides the exact distance between corresponding users. We start by introducing a strong definition of "friend" on Twitter, requiring bidirectional communication. Next, by utilizing geo-tagged mentions delivered by users to determine their locations, we introduce a two-stage distance estimation algorithm. As our main contribution, our study provides the following newly-discovered friendship degree related to the issue of space: The number of friends according to distance follows a double power-law (i.e., a double Pareto law) distribution, indicating that the probability of befriending a particular Twitter user is significantly reduced beyond a certain geographic distance between users, termed the separation point. Our analysis provides much more fine-grained social ties in space, compared to the conventional results showing a homogeneous power-law with distance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication23rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2015
EditorsYan Huang, Mohamed Ali, Jagan Sankaranarayanan, Matthias Renz, Michael Gertz
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450339674
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 3
Event23rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2015 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 2015 Nov 32015 Nov 6

Publication series

NameGIS: Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems
Volume03-06-November-2015

Conference

Conference23rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2015
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period15/11/315/11/6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Information Systems

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  • Cite this

    Shin, W. Y., Cho, J., & Everett, A. M. (2015). Clarifying the role of distance in friendships on Twitter: Discovery of a double power-law relationship. In Y. Huang, M. Ali, J. Sankaranarayanan, M. Renz, & M. Gertz (Eds.), 23rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, ACM SIGSPATIAL GIS 2015 [a51] (GIS: Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems; Vol. 03-06-November-2015). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2820783.2820841