Empirical Analysis of a Dynamic Social Network Built from PGP Keyrings
Social networks are the focus of a large body of research. A number of popular email encryption tools make use of online directories to store public key information. These can be used to build a social network of people connected by email relationships. Since these directories contain creation and expiration time-stamps, the corresponding network can be built and analysed dynamically. At any given point, a snapshot of the current state of the model can be observed and traditional metrics evaluated and compared with the state of the model at other times.
We show that, with this described data set, simple traditional predictive measures do vary with time. Moreover, singular events pertinent to the participants in the social network (such as conferences) can be correlated with or implied by significant changes in these measures. This provides evidence that the dynamic behaviour of social networks should not be ignored, either when analysing a real model or when attempting to generate a synthetic model.
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