Six Degrees of Separation

Hello class this is my blog post for an article on Six Degrees of Separation, an experiment through Facebook.

As discussed in class, six degrees or, “small-world phenomenon”,  of separation is the idea by connecting with some sort of entity, whether its a business, person, town, etc., in six steps or under, without directly contacting that same entity, one must use their networks to successfully complete this experiment. In an article titled “Facebook Shrinks ‘Six Degrees Of Separation’ To Just 4.74” by the Huffington Post, the article states that the University of Milan, has “shrunk” this theory through the use of Facebook and by utilizing the social network within Facebook. The article states that “Ninety-two percent of individuals on Facebook are just “four degrees” from one another, while 99.6 percent are separated by 5 degrees”. The reason why the number is significantly smaller than six degrees is because it is much easier to connect with individuals on Facebook because of globalization. In a hyperlink in the article, it takes you to the Cornell University Library which they give additional information on the steps that they took in order to complete this test.

The idea of six degrees of separation is to find the most efficient and effective path to the destination that you are trying to get to. This test was matched perfectly on Facebook, which Cornell’s library states that it was the biggest social network ever analyzed,in that the more friends you have, the more likely you are to have  more opportunities to find an efficient path that is less than six degrees. I thought this article was interesting because I was surprised to see that although I feel that getting to someone in a different country by six degrees was pushing the limitation, this test did it in only 4.74 degrees which goes to show how small the world is really getting.

Here are the links to the article and the hyperlink to Cornell’s Library:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/22/facebook-six-degrees-separation_n_1107577.html

http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.4503

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1 thought on “Six Degrees of Separation”

  1. Hey great post on the small-world phenomenon. I can’t imagine that people are only separated by 4-5 degrees let alone 6 but the studies have proven it. Too bad an old friend of mine that I’m trying to locate isn’t on social media (at least that’s what I remembered), I can’t recall his last name, and I don’t have many friends to start with or I could’ve found him already according to the article.

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