Social linking and physical proximity in a mobile location-based service

  • Authors:
  • Bin Xu;Alvin Chin;Hao Wang;Hao Wang;Li Zhang

  • Affiliations:
  • Tsinghua University & Nokia Research Center, Beijing, China;Nokia Research Center, Beijing, China;Nokia Research Center, Beijing, China;Nokia Research Center, Beijing, China;Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

  • Venue:
  • Proceedings of the 1st international workshop on Mobile location-based service
  • Year:
  • 2011

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In this paper we collected and examined the indoor location traces of users of an indoor location-based social network service called Find & Connect deployed at an academic conference, to explore the relation between users' physical proximity and the connecting properties of their social links. We define a parameter called encounter to represent the physical proximity between users, and also select two kinds of social links that exist in the online social graph formed during the conference, i.e., friendship and sharing common friends. Using these parameters, we present a correlation study of encounter duration, frequency and distribution with the formation and strength of the social links. Results show that, on average, an increasing encounter duration between users leads to a high possibility of the establishments of social links, while afterwards this increment of encounter duration slows down after establishments of social links. We also find users that are highly sociable (with regards to the number of friends and common friends) indicate a higher proximity interaction with their friends, and similarity of a pair of users suggests more and longer encounters between them. This means, for two kinds of social links we select, there is a strong relation between social linking and physical proximity.