Monday, 12 August 2013

Altruism in social networks: good guys do finish first

an article by S. Anand, R. Chandramouli, K. P. Subbalakshmi and M. Venkataraman (Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, USA) published in Social Network Analysis and Mining Volume 3 Issue 2 (June 2013)


Altruism in social networks was traditionally considered based on user relationships and requirements. The capability of a user to help has seldom been taken into account while studying altruism.

Also, to the best of our knowledge, no quantitative analysis has been made to determine the benefits of altruism.

Here we quantitatively study the amount of altruism of users based on the help extended by users to each other and the benefits they reap because of being altruistic. Results indicate that a network in which 90% users have capabilities that are above average contains 90% altruistic users, while a network containing 50% of users with above-average capabilities contains only 50% altruistic users.

Results also indicate that altruistic users (the good guys) reap more benefits than selfish users and free riders (i.e., finish first).

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