New Methods for Generating Synthetic Equivalents of Real Social Networks

47 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2018

See all articles by Xu Dong

Xu Dong

University of Miami, Department of Industrial Engineering, Students

Arvind Rangaswamy

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Marketing

Nazrul I. Shaikh

University of Miami - Department of Industrial Engineering

Date Written: June 21, 2016

Abstract

In both empirical and theoretical contexts, we may need to generate synthetic versions of large-scale social networks. Extant network generation models and algorithms do not replicate in full measure the structural complexities of real social networks. While extant approaches can replicate specific network characteristics well (e.g., degree distribution), they fail to replicate other aspects such as presence of overlapping cliques and community structures in social networks. Inspired by some recent developments in community detection algorithms in social networks, we propose two new network generation algorithms that explicitly incorporate the distribution of overlapping communities. We show that our proposed algorithms are measurably superior to the extant algorithms in generating synthetic social networks that more closely resemble actual social networks along a multiplicity of metrics that are used to characterize such networks.

Keywords: Social networks; emulation; network characteristics

JEL Classification: M11, M30

Suggested Citation

Dong, Xu and Rangaswamy, Arvind and Shaikh, Nazrul I., New Methods for Generating Synthetic Equivalents of Real Social Networks (June 21, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122037 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3122037

Xu Dong

University of Miami, Department of Industrial Engineering, Students ( email )

Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States

Arvind Rangaswamy

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States

Nazrul I. Shaikh (Contact Author)

University of Miami - Department of Industrial Engineering ( email )

Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States

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