Defining social algorithm

The word social is currently fashionable to social networks, social software, social bookmarking, social and now the algorithm. The social networking activity, social software tools are social networking possible, but what is a social algorithm?

The following will try to determine what social algorithm.

Social Networking.

Let's look at an example. Famous social networking sites include Flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Friendster, Wikipedia, Facebook, and virtual gaming world of Second Life. Bookmarking and tagging held social network activities. The goal of the network of people meet together or just sharing something (pictures, music, movies, information, etc).

Social Software.

Social software tools that allow people to network. These include e-mail, mailing lists, RSS, IRC, instant messaging, Napster as a P2P, blogs, wikis, AJAX, Web 2, etc. These are the features that the network should be interactive and bottom up (user content) . They used to be called group-ware software. Some of these software are very old, but others, like the recent blogs. Wikis have been around since Ward Cunningham, the father began to talk, but after taking only geeks and widely adopted only in the last few years. Some software is documented in wikis, and enterprises, educational institutions have begun to use it.


So, what is a social algorithm? The algorithm is like a cooking recipe or a computer program step-by-step to perform a procedure. Algorithms in pseudo-code, easy for people to understand and more abstract, such as computer programs. The programs are said to implement some algorithm that provides a machine translation of the pseudo code.

Although most algorithms numeric, it will not be as cooking recipes, logical merge algorithms, string matching, face recognition, etc.


Social algorithms different from the general algorithms that includes agents, and the algorithm is the result of interaction between the agents. The colony algorithm is an example of the ants as agents, and used to solve some problems, such as the shortest route or the traveling salesman problem. Social algorithm can be used in a distributed problem solving colony algorithm, but this is not necessary.

They say that Google & # 39; s PageRank algorithm is the key factor for Google to win the battle on the Internet. The PageRank algorithm ranks sites using a variety of criteria, including the number of inbound links, all the weight that PageRank referring site (for recursive algorithms and real-time).

To get an idea of ​​the algorithm, here's a description:

The original PageRank algorithm described by Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin in several publications.

is given as

to the PR (A) = (1-d) + d (PR (T1) / C (T 1) + … + PR (tn) / C (tn ))

PR (a) of the PageRank page of
PR (Ti) of the PageRank of pages Ti which link to page
C (Ti) is the number of outgoing links page Ti and
d is a damping factor which can be adjusted between 0 and 1.

Because PageRank determines the ranking pages of a search engine, it affects many things, and ultimately, many people who have income derived from the sites . Therefore, people who are the agents here, try to change the parameters of the site to increase their ranks. This is commonly known as SEO: search engine optimization.

This is an example where the algorithm rules of the social network, and thus alter the behavior or actions of agents. Abuse of the algorithm, in one case, someone will build Web sites based on (almost) only links with no content, but manages to get a high PageRank. Such anomalies are likely to be taken care of, like the PageRank algorithm is evolving.

Internet auctions and reverse auctions, such as eBay, are also algorithms that the rules of the game, where players. is a social bookmarking site, you get one of the original proposal digg, digg and people again, if you like the proposal, undug or if you do not. The number of Diggs the indicator of the proposal & # 39; s popularity. This system will help groups of people who cooperate with each other digg proposals.

We see that social algorithms are weaknesses, they often take advantage of certain people. It is therefore necessary to improve the social algorithms.

Netflix is ​​a famous case, they offer a million dollars to anyone who is able to increase the accuracy of the existing algorithm by 10%.

Non-human players and avatars.

Back to the definition of social algorithms such as a multi-agent based algorithm where agents are people, we feel that this definition should be extended to cases in which people and instead of animals or software surrogates. I consider the simulation of the Digg algorithm or the simulation of intelligent trading agents, such as social algorithms. So colony algorithm, which replaces the animals to humans. Similarly swarms, flocks, etc.

cellular automaton is a limit case that agent-based okay, but is often used to simulate the physical and chemical processes. If you use imitate human activity, it would be a social algorithm.

The evolution of the algorithm as an abstraction of the Darwinian process of social algorithm.
Genetic algorithms and variations are included.

Evolutionary game theory.

social evolutionary game theory algorithms intersect. Game theory studies the drug use strategies such as trading, auctions, marketing, etc. prisoner vote & # 39; and produces two prisoner's dilemma game, but it can be repeated and played in a population, which then becomes a social algorithm.

If you've ever played in Second Life, you know how difficult it can be social algorithms. The virtual world, throughout his life, including the economy, relationships, and property is determined by algorithms.

Source by Soei Tan

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