Archived Project: Filling in the Void in Social Networks: the disappearance of hubs and emergence of new ones in their wake

2012-13

Mentor: Vladimir Filkov (Computer Science)

**This project is no longer offered**

Established social networks are characterized by prominent nodes through which flows a significant fraction of the information traffic in the network. When one of those hubs leaves the network, other, lesser hubs, rise to fill the void, in a competitive process with other hubs. In this project we are interested in elucidating the topological (network architecture) determinants of who will rise to the top once a prominent person is gone. We have empirical longitudinal data of hundreds of social networks with notable hierarchical structure. The student assigned to this project will study the complex network properties of nodes that rise in prominence, e.g. their centrality, homophily, and their similarity to the departed node. Of particular interest will be the historical nature of the data, allowing the building and validation of a predictive model.

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