Santa Maradona

Juernes | 12 de Agosto del 2004

El universo de Marvel es casi una Red Social

Sin querer queriendo me encontre con un articulo que estudia el universo de Marvel (caricaturas, piensa en El Hombre Araña) como red social, por un grupo en el Departamento de Matematica e Informatica de la Universidad de las Islas Baleares (aguante Mallorca!). Esta en inglés y ofrezco apartes en ese idioma porque la traduccion me da mucha nostalgia. [via joshua]

"...All collaboration networks studied so far present the same basic features: (a) on average, every pair of nodes can be connected through a short path within the network; (b) the probability that two nodes are linked is greater if they share a neighbor; and (c) the fraction of nodes with k neighbors decays roughly as a function of the form k^t for some positive exponent, with perhaps a cutoff for large values of k. A network satisfying properties (a) and (b) is called a small world, and if it satisfies (c) then it is called scale-free. [N. del E. Cuando piense en Small Worlds piense en Stanley Milgram primero, quien escribio el genesis de los "Seis grados de separacion" y mucho mas importante el Oracle de [Kevin] Bacon. Por aca hay una buena introduccion a las scale-free networks.]

Does this similarity in features represent some profound principle in human interaction? Or, on the contrary, does any large network with some "collaboration" between nodes present these characteristics? [...] In this paper we want to contribute to a possible answer to these questions by analyzing a new collaboration network, that is artificial, but mimics real-life networks: the Marvel Universe collaboration network. In it, the nodes correspond to Marvel Comics characters, and two nodes are linked when the corresponding characters have jointly appeared in the same Marvel comic book.

One of the main features of Marvel Comics from the sixties to our days has been the creation and development, under the leading pen of Stan Lee, of the so-called Marvel Universe. Although crossovers (a hero with its own title series appears in an issue of another hero's series) were not uncommon in the Golden Age period, the nature and span of the crossovers in the books from the Marvel Age led to the perception that all Marvel characters lived their adventures in the same fictional cosmos, called the Marvel Universe, where they interacted like real actors. This concept was helped by the interrelation of all titles that were being created, which made characters and even plots cross over on a regular basis, by the appearance of the same villains and secondary characters in comic books of different titles, and by continuous references to events that were simultaneously happening, or had happened, in other books. A paradigm of the Marvel Universe could be Quicksilver, who appeared first as a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in the early issues of Uncanny X-Men, then he became a member of the Avengers and later of X-Factor, to end as the leader of the Knights of Wundagore; he is also the son of Magneto, the twin brother of the Scarlet Witch, and he married Crystal, a former fiancee of Fantastic Four's Human Torch and a member of the Inhumans (as well as of the Fantastic Four as a substitute of the Invisible Woman when she took her "maternal leave"). [N. del E. Las negrillas son mias. Nada mas quiero comentar que aquel que posea este tipo de informacion y hable con propiedad del tema es uno/a de mis idolos mientras haya vida para vivir.]

Although to some extent the Marvel Universe tries to mimic human relations, and in particular it is completely different from a random network, we have shown that it cannot completely hide its artificial origins. As in real-life collaboration and, in general, social networks, its nodes are on average at a short distance of each other, and the distribution of collaborators shows a clear power-law tail with cutoff. But its clustering coefficient is quite smaller than what's usual in real-life collaboration networks. [N. del E. Las Power Laws o Leyes de Potencia estan apareciendo por todas partes incluso en los weblogs, ya yo me estoy asustando.]

From here we conclude that in the construction of real collaboration networks there are two unknown, profound different principles in play. On the one hand, the degree distributions of the bipartite graph which they are based upon are not arbitrary. On the other hand, the final structure of any actual collaboration network, be it real-life or artificial, differs from its null random collaboration network model roughly in the same way, and thus there is probably a common mechanism that produces them. Further study is needed to find what these principles may be." [N. del E. Como dice que dijo?]

Pues eso.

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