A 13th century social network
June 2nd, 2008

According to Nature News, a team of French researchers has used medieval documents to create the oldest detailed social network ever constructed. The mathematicians and computer scientists looked through thousands of records of land transactions dating back as far as 1260 in a Southwest part of France. The result of their study shows ‘how medieval peasants and lords were connected.’ Even if the title of the Nature News article is somewhat ironic — ‘Researchers give a French province the ‘Facebook’ treatment’ –, this mathematical study is pretty serious. And its title is more enigmatic: ‘Batch kernel SOM and related Laplacian methods for social network analysis’ (SOM meaning ‘self-organizing map’). But read more…

Links: ZDNet, Primidi

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