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Shortest FaceBook Path

How closely are two random people connected?
  [vote for,

I find myself curious to know how a random person on Facebook is connected to me. Let's call this random person 'Bob'. For example:

Bob -> Susan -> John -> Victor

...might be the shortest path from Bob to me through our connections. There might be more than one equivalent shortest path:

Bob -> Susan -> Peter -> Victor

Most people on FaceBook have their friends lists open to the public. I propose a software that will trawl my friends, my friends' friends, etc. to determine the shortest path from me to Bob.

victor, Apr 16 2010

Dijkstra's Algorithm http://en.wikipedia...kstra%27s_algorithm
For shortest path analysis. [Jinbish, Apr 16 2010]

Dragons http://www.goodread...4216.Guards_Guards_
Fourth quote down. [8th of 7, Apr 16 2010]

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       This can only be done in a privacy-preserving way if people have their lists of friends 'open' - which seems like a bad idea to me.
hippo, Apr 16 2010

       bob might be kate...
po, Apr 16 2010

       //This can only be done in a privacy-preserving way if people have their lists of friends 'open'...//   

       Not necessarily. I'm not certain, but Facebook applications typically get permission to access some profile data. If friend lists are part of that then...   

       Write an Application for Facebook to examine Friend lists. Write a clever little game or some other populist thingy that could go viral and insert your "Shortest Path" code into it. Then sit back and watch it go viral.
Jinbish, Apr 16 2010

       If someone signs up to an application then that application gets a lot of access to that person's account, including personal info and friend list.   

       However few applications go that viral ...
Aristotle, Apr 16 2010

       What are these "friends" of which you hu-mons speak ? Your words are strange to us...   

8th of 7, Apr 16 2010


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