Analysis of large-scale social and information networks
The growth of the Web has required us to think about the design of information systems in which large-scale computational and social feedback effects are simultaneously at work. At the same time, the data generated by Web-scale systems—recording the ways in which millions of participants create content, link information, form groups and communicate with one another—have made it possible to evaluate long-standing theories of social interaction, and to formulate new theories based on what we observe. These developments have created a new level of interaction between computing and the social sciences, enriching the perspectives of both of these disciplines. We discuss some of the observations, theories and conclusions that have grown from the study of Web-scale social interaction, focusing on issues including the mechanisms by which people join groups, the ways in which different groups are linked together in social networks and the interplay of positive and negative interactions in these networks.