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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Mar 25;88(12):128701. Epub 2002 Mar 8.

Emergence of a small world from local interactions: modeling acquaintance networks.

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  • 1Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Kiel, Leibnizstrasse 15, D-24098 Kiel, Germany.


How do we make acquaintances? A simple observation from everyday experience is that often one of our acquaintances introduces us to one of his or her acquaintances. Such a simple triangle interaction may be viewed as the basis of the evolution of many social networks. Here, it is demonstrated that this assumption is sufficient to reproduce major nontrivial features of social networks: short path length, high clustering, and scale-free or exponential link distributions.

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