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Network distributions and hubs

In this video Wander Jager introduces hubs.
WANDER JAGER: People differ concerning how many contacts they have. You have some people, or nodes, who have more contacts, and you have some people, or nodes, having fewer contacts. In our hunter-gatherer society, basically, people who are living in small packs of groups. And we knew about, in total, 150 people in person. This 150 is also known as the so-called Dunbar number. This implies that in the hunter-gatherer society, we basically were similar in regards how many people we really knew. When agriculture started to grow, also cities started to grow, and the networks connecting people became much larger. And we got the development of a new class of people. Queens, kings, priests, politicians.
They all have much more influence on other people than regular people. In particular, with the development of writing, they had a means to reach out to many people simultaneously. The concept of degree distribution is very important to understand the properties of a network. Degree distribution tells us about how many contacts or links people have. A low distribution implies that all people have about the same number of contacts, whereas a high-degree distribution implies that only a few people, like for example, the kings or the priests, have an extraordinary number of connections. This distribution is a network theory also known as a fat-tail distribution.
And this fat-tail distribution explains that most regular people have a rather low number of connections, that the few people earlier mentioned– kings and priests, politicians – have an extraordinarily high number of connections. And these people, in these kinds of networks are called hubs.

In this video Wander Jager explains that with the rise of agricultural society, cities emerged and the total size of the networks became larger than the original small tribes humans were living in. An important observation is that these larger societies also gave rise to people having many contacts, such as queens and priests. These so-called hubs can have a strong impact on network dynamics.

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Social Network Analysis: The Networks Connecting People

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