Social Network Size.

In his 1993 study Robin Dunbar took a look at the proportion of the cortical size (the outer part of the brain, that is involved in higher functions such as spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and language) to the total brain size, and compared the results with group sizes and language of humans beings. Dunbar developed an equation to calculate an average group size that a human being is able to overlook. The result was 147.8, with a rather wide range of possible variation from 100.2 to 231.1. These cognitive limitations of stable social relationships have come to be known as Dunbar’s number (Dunbar, 1993). Continue reading

Effectiveness of Social Media Bots.

To measure a machines success in imitating human behavior various techniques can be applied. This is commonly known as the Turing test, as developed by Alan Turing (1950). The effectiveness of bots can also be evaluated using a classical Turing test where the quantity and the quality of a bots output is measured and tested on a human test person.

Ineffective countermeasures:

This image shows a CAPTCHASocial network services such as Facebook have introduced certain security techniques to identify bots from humans such as CAPTCHAs (machine unreadabla pictures that can only be parsed by a human user) or automatic detection of massive friending, fake profile names and other unregular behavior. The effectivness of these measures is limited as Huber, et al. (2009) conlude: Continue reading

Scalability of Social Networks.

Doing my usual research I have encountered an interesting report today which I would like to mention here.

The report is called “The Strength of Internet Ties. The internet and email aid users in maintaining their social networks and provide pathways to help when people face big decisions” (Rainie et al., 2006)

Focusing on email communication the report describes what effects the internet has on our social network and how it enables new possibilities to encounter help and make decisions. I do not want to talk about the Help and Decision part in this blog post, although it is worth reading, what I am interested in are the effects on our social networks. Continue reading