Graphing your Facebook network

This is a tool to make a force-directed graph of your Facebook friend network. Each friend is represented as a node, and is connected to each of your mutual friends. Each time this page is loaded, my friends pull each other together, as though they were connected by springs, in a physical simulation that results in a final balance. Highly connected groups pull each other close and will end up the way I group my friends in my mind: clustered around schools, towns, events, and organizations. This is what my network looks like:

It's more illuminating to look at the results excluding yourself as the central node that's connected to all others, because you know that already.

The biggest group I see is my high school. That's closely connected to a couple other clusters, including my college friends at Columbia and friends I met during a high school research program at Stony Brook University. Some clusters farther out aren't connected as well to the massive high school and college group. My friends from middle school in Vienna are in one such cluster. At the farthest outskirts, there are a few friends that aren't connected to the rest at all (other than through me). They correspond to about 1.5% of the total, which is tiny.

I wonder if Facebook uses an approach like this to recommend people for you to add as friends. At Facebook's scale, though, it's probably some heuristic that looks at connectivity up to 2 degrees of separation.


Page created in January 2015.