The Formation of Collaboration Networks Among Individuals with Heterogeneous Skills
Collaboration networks provide a method for examining the highly heterogeneous structure of collaborative communities. However, existing models of network formation do not provide a connection between observed network heterogeneity and characteristics of the individuals or communities. The model presented in this paper connects an individual’s skill set to her position in the collaboration network, and changes in the distribution of skills to the structure of the collaboration network as a whole. This model suggests that individuals with a useful combination of skills will have a disproportionate number of links in the network, resulting in a skewed degree distribution, much like that observed empirically. The degree distribution becomes more skewed as problems become more difficult, leading to a community dominated by a few high-degree superstars.
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