Student: Luke Postle
School: Gordon College
Faculty Advisors: Nina Fefferman, Kah Loon Ng

Project Description

Project title: Evolution of Social Networks

The theory of social networks uses graphs to describe the connections between individuals in a population (e.g. by marriage, social interaction, money flows, etc.). I am interested in the effect of individual behaviors (association choices) on the total network. Preliminary simulations show that small differences in behaviors can drastically change the resulting global network. At the moment, all of the work is being performed on the individual level. For the summer, it would be interesting to take a look at "small group choices" - what happens if local groups of individuals band together. When does it "profit" individuals to form such groups. The next steps for this research could involve further simulation, game theory, graph theory, combinatorics, possibly even some statistics.

The Problem:
General: To characterize the organizational success of social networks as they evolve by individual choice
My Project: To determine the advantages of varying levels of knowledge size and group structure