The European Physical Journal B

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 605–611 | Cite as

Human behavior in online social systems

Interdisciplinary Physics


We present and study data concerning human behavior in four online social systems: (i) an Internet community of friends of over 107 people, (ii) a music community website with over 106 users, (iii) a gamers’ community server with over 5 × 106 users and (iv) a booklovers’ website with over 2.5 × 105 users. The purpose of those systems is different; however, their properties are very similar. We have found that the distribution of human activity (e.g., the sum of books read or songs played) has the form of a power law. Moreover, the relationship between human activity and time has a power-law form, too. We present a simple interest-driven model of the evolution of such systems which explains the emergence of two scaling regimes.


89.75.Fb Structures and organization in complex systems 89.65.Ef Social organizations; anthropology 89.75.Da Systems obeying scaling laws 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Institute for Labour Protection, National Research InstituteWarsawPoland

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