On characterizing sectoral interactions via connections between employees in professional online social networks (22/61)

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The collaboration among individuals is essential to maximize economic efficiency. Today most of the technological and economical advancements require multidisciplinary efforts. Therefore promoting interaction and knowledge sharing between industry sectors within a country is more crucial than ever. One main platform for such communication is business-oriented online social networks where thousands of professionals from various sectors connect with each other. These social networks provide a way of disseminating the latest information in technology and business.

Our goal in this paper is to analyze the connectivity patterns of individuals in a business-oriented social network as a tool to understand how industry sectors are represented and interact with each other in such online platforms. To do that, we collect profiles of thousands of employees from a professional online social network. Then, first, we analyze the structural properties of the network and report its characteristics in comparison with the non-professional ones. Second, we map each employee to the sector she works in and study the connectivity patterns within each sector separately. We find that the connectivity patterns within sectors vary and the employees within a sector do not necessarily form densely connected communities. Third, we investigate the relationship between sectors via the connectivity of their employees and identify the main social clusters of sectors. We show that there are significant similarities between social connectivity and the economic transactions between sectors.


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Written by Parker Collignon


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