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Technique for applying social network analysis to calculate a boost value to assist with responding to network invitations. Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248296D
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-15
Document File: 3 page(s) / 347K

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The Prior Art Database


Professional networks depend on members establishing connections between one another however, in some cases, the benefits of establishing a connection are unclear. Various social network analysis techniques can be used to provide the invitee an indication of what impact accepting an invitation will have on their position in the network.

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Technique for applying social network analysis to calculate a boost value to assist with responding to network invitations.

Disclosed is a technique for applying social network analysis techniques to enhance the experience of responding to a connection invitation by giving an indication of the impact to the invitee's network.

    Professional networks depend on members establishing connections between one another, thus extending their networks. Members of a network can invite other members to connect, thus introducing the need for members to respond to connection invitations. In some cases, these invitations are sent between familiar co-workers. In other cases, the reason for establishing a connection is less clear. In these cases, it can be hard to make an informed decision on whether or not to accept or reject the invitation. These decisions may be made on the available data such as shared connections, interest, skills, or event attendance, and not, for instance, the unavailable factors such as the hierarchical benefit of accepting rather than rejecting a given invitation.

Fig. 1 - An invitation from another user

    Various methods of social network analysis can be applied to identify how connected, influential, informed, and powerful each member of the network may be.

    These algorithms can be used to refresh the current scores for a pair of users at the time of invitation and model the impact to the invitee's score in a particular context, in the event of the invitation being accepted. This "boost" to the score could be presented to the invitee in a way that allows them to make an informed decision. Ultimately, it's saying to the invitee for example, "If you connect to this person you'll become significantly more influential within the User Experience Professionals group".

    As illustrated in Fig. 2 below, connection invitations could be enhanced so that members of professional networks could make decisions based on more context to the benefit of connecting with the other member of the pair.

Fig. 2 - An enhanced invitation emphasising the incentive to connect

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In further embodiments, this information could be used to power rules such as:

       If the person initiating the invitation is not known to me and won't represent a major boost to my status, then automatically reject the invitation

       Automatically accept invitations from users who will provide a major boost to my influence in Software, United Kingdom.

    This invention takes advantage of known measures of social network analysis. Calculating these scores in an environment in which the number of nodes is already below the threshold above which the network can't be visualised is known and demonstrable in existing data analysis products. In order to calculate these scores over a larger network it will be necessary to identify subsets small enough for the calculations to be performed while remaining meaningful to the user. In a typical business network, members have metadata associa...