Tuesday, August 5, 2008

That's 6.6 Degrees of Separation - according to Microsoft Research


A Microsoft research team has studied 30 billion instant messages sent by 240 million people in June 2006 and found that any two Instant Messenger (IM) users could be linked in 6.6 steps.

The research supports the famous 1969 study by Millgram and Travers that proposed that any two strangers are connected by only six degrees of separation. The theory inspired a play, a film, a game, and the sixdegrees.org website launched by actor Kevin Bacon.

"We've been able to put our finger on the social pulse of human connectivity - on a planetary scale - and we've confirmed that it's indeed a small world.'' Microsoft researcher Eric Horvitz said. "Over the next few decades, new kinds of computing applications, from smart networks to automated translation systems, will help make the world even smaller, with closer social connections and deeper understanding among people.''

Full Story in news.com.au: http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,,24130825-5005962,00.html

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