Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Six Degrees Of Separation

If you guys haven't heard of the concept before, Six Degrees of Seperation (SDoS) refers to the idea that any two people in the world are connected by approximately six steps. Pretty remarkable right? To think that your friend of a friend of a...(6 "steps" away) is President Barack Obama himself! Time to use that connection, don't you think?

Obviously, there are a lot more considerations regarding social structure and acquaintance networks involved in these estimates, but studies have shown that for a population like the US, three degrees of separation is a more realistic estimate. In our CS 144 (Ideas Behind the Web) class here at Caltech, we had a small question in our first assignment to experiment with these ideas using Co-author graphs as well as "People who bought item x also bought y"-networks and the results were surprisingly consistent with the average separation suggested by this idea.

So the next time you think you aren't well connected, think again ;-)


  1. dude what are the 6 steps between me and hrithik? :P

  2. Come to think of it you can define many more steps to connect in this era