The effect of preference similarity on the formation of clusters and the connectivity of social networks
The current paper analyzes the formation of social networks determined by the preferences of their users, who are endowed with incomplete information regarding the characteristics of other users from who they receive friendship requests. The acceptance or rejection decision is determined by the limited information available when receiving the requests, the expectations of the users regarding the remaining characteristics of the requesters and the resulting improvement in network capacity derived from accepting the friendship requests. We illustrate how the similarity in preferences among users leads to more concentrated clusters within the incomplete information scenario analyzed. At the same time, the emergence of disutility costs derived from a suboptimal decision when accepting to interact with other users increments the dispersion between clusters. In this regard, the inclusion of requesters endowed with average preferences relative to those of the standard users composing the network acts as a connectivity-enhancing mechanism designed to reduce the dispersion and differences existing between clusters.
Tavana, Madjid; Santos-Arteaga, Francisco J.; and Di Caprio, Debora, "The effect of preference similarity on the formation of clusters and the connectivity of social networks" (2017). Business Systems and Analytics Faculty Work. 124.