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Information dynamics shape the sexual networks of Internet-mediated prostitution
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. (IceLab)
Stockholm University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. (IceLab)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2156-1096
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 107, no 13, 5706-5711 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Like many other social phenomena, prostitution is increasingly coordinated over the Internet. The online behavior affects the offline activity; the reverse is also true. We investigated the reported sexual contacts between 6,624 anonymous escorts and 10,106 sex buyers extracted from an online community from its beginning and six years on. These sexual encounters were also graded and categorized (in terms of the type of sexual activities performed) by the buyers. From the temporal, bipartite network of posts, we found a full feedback loop in which high grades on previous posts affect the future commercial success of the sex worker, and vice versa. We also found a peculiar growth pattern in which the turnover of community members and sex workers causes a sublinear preferential attachment. There is, moreover, a strong geographic influence on network structure—the network is geographically clustered but still close to connected, the contacts consistent with the inverse-square law observed in trading patterns. We also found that the number of sellers scales sublinearly with city size, so this type of prostitution does not, comparatively speaking, benefit much from an increasing concentration of people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Academy of Sciences , 2010. Vol. 107, no 13, 5706-5711 p.
Keyword [en]
complex networks, sexual contacts, sexual network, information spreading, feedback process, online/offline activity
National Category
Information Science Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32704DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914080107ISI: 000276159500005OAI: diva2:305218
Available from: 2010-03-22 Created: 2010-03-22 Last updated: 2013-09-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring patterns of empirical networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring patterns of empirical networks
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Utforska mönster av empiriska nätverk
Abstract [en]

We are constantly struggling to understand how nature works, trying to identify recurrent events and looking for analogies and relations between objects or individuals. Knowing patterns of behavior is powerful and fundamental for survival of any species. In this thesis, datasets of diverse systems related to transportation, economics, sexual and social contacts, are characterized by using the formalisms of time series and network theory. Part of the results consists on the collection and analyzes of original network data, the rest focuses on the simulation of dynamical processes on these networks and to study how they are affected by the particular structures. The majority of the thesis is about temporal networks, i.e. networks whose structure changes in time. The new temporal dimension reveals structural dynamical properties that help to understand the feedback mechanisms responsible to make the network structure to adapt and to understand the emergence and inhibition of diverse phenomena in dynamic systems, as epidemics in sexual and contact networks.

Abstract [sv]

Vi är ständigt kämpar för att förstå hur naturen fungerar, försöker identifier återkommande evenemang och söker analogier och relationer mellan objekt eller individer. Veta beteendemönster är kraftfull och grundläggande för överlevnad av arter. I denna avhandling, dataset av olika system i samband med transporter är ekonomi, sexuella och sociala kontakter, som kännetecknas av att använda formalismer av tidsserier och nätverk teori. En del av resultatet utgörs av insamling och analys av ursprungliga nätdata, fokuserar resten på simulering av dynamiska processer i dessa nätverk och att studera hur de påverkas av de särskilda strukturer. Huvuddelen av avhandlingen handlar om tidsmässiga nät, i.e. nät vars struktur förändringar i tid. Den nya tidsdimensionen avslöjar strukturella dynamiska egenskaper som hjälper till att förstå den feedback mekanismer som ansvarar för att göra nätverksstruktur att anpassa sig och förstå uppkomsten och hämning av olika företeelser i dynamiska system, epidemier i sexuella och kontaktnät.

Abstract [pt]

Constantemente nos esforçamos para entender como a natureza funciona, tentando identificar eventos recorrentes e procurando por analogias e relações entre objetos ou indivíduos. Conhecer padrões de comportamento é algo poderoso e fundamental para a sobrevivência de qualquer espécie. Nesta tese, dados de sistemas diversos, relacionados a transporte, economia, contatos sexuais e sociais, são caracterizados usando o formalismo de séries temporais e teoria de redes. Uma parte dos resultados consiste na coleta e análise de dados de redes originais, a outra parte concentra-se na simulação de processos dinâmicos nessas redes e no estudo de como esses processos são afetados por determinadas estruturas. A maior parte da tese é sobre redes temporais, ou seja, redes cuja estrutura varia no tempo. A nova dimensão temporal revela propriedades estruturais dinâmicas que contribuem para o entendimento dos mecanismos de resposta responsáveis pela adaptação da rede, e para o entendimento da emergência e inibição de fenômenos diversos em sistemas dinâmicos, como epidemias em redes sexuais e de contato pessoal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, Department of Physics, 2011. 66 p.
complex systems, complex networks, network analysis, empirical networks, air transportation, consumer complaints, information technology, sexual contacts, epidemics, vaccination
National Category
Other Physics Topics Other Physics Topics Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Physics; Statistics; Epidemiology; Economics
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46588 (URN)978-91-7459-241-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-30, Naturvetarhuset, N300, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:30 (English)
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-09-06 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved

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Rocha, Luis E CHolme, Petter
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