On homophily

From “Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks” (pdf). “Similarity breeds connection. This principle—the homophily principle—structures network ties of every type, including marriage, friendship, work, advice, support, information transfer, exchange, comembership, and other types of relationship.”

One Response to “On homophily”

  1. Neal Lathia says:

    Interesting. My guess would be that measuring similarity in terms of social ties is very resilient and efficient; I wonder how well it captures serendipitous discovery/propagation of ideas. Homophily is the hidden assumption of recommender systems (the main objective of the fancy CF algorithms is to somehow capture and represent this similarity) although it veers away from how people are socially connected to how they are measurably similar to one another.

    To cite a couple things: One problem in recommender systems is that temporal similarity is difficult to capture (i.e. kNN graphs change every time you update the system- RecSys ’08). Also all this discussion means that there is an untapped resource, social influence (you know what I’m hinting at here).