Is Web Content a Good Proxy for Real-Life Interaction? A Case Study Considering Online and Offline Interactions of Computer Scientists

Mark Kibanov, Martin Atzmueller, Jens Illig, Christoph Scholz, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Gerd Stumme, Proceedings of the 2015 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2015, Paris, France, August 25-28 2015.

Today, many people spend a lot of time online. Their social interactions captured in online social networks are an important part of the overall personal social profile, in addition to interactions taking place offline. This paper investigates whether relations captured by online social networks can be used as a proxy for the relations in offline social networks, such as networks of human face-to-face (F2F) proximity and coauthorship networks. Particularly, the paper focuses on interactions of computer scientists in online settings (homepages, social networks profiles and connections) and offline settings (scientific collaboration, face-to-face communications during the conferences). We focus on quantitative studies: we investigate the structural similarities and correlations of the induced networks; in addition, we analyze implications between networks. Finally, we provide a qualitative user analysis to find characteristics of good and bad proxies.



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