Measuring Information Flow in A Social Circuit

Consider a basic information flow structure in a social scene

• Five persons (A,B,C,D,E) standing in a row
• Each person can only communicate with the next person in row.
• If all individuals are of same status / caliber, Will there be any significant information flow from person A to person E?
• Probably not much, no one has much to share, the usual boring people!


Information flows from higher potential people / event to lower potential people

• If in the human chain, Mr. A gets replaced by President Obama P- a person of higher potential (by the virtue of his powers as president).

• Would Mr. E at the other end of the chain, know the presence of Mr. President? Yes in a short while, as the news spreads.

• But did Mr. E knew about the presence of Mr. A in the chain? Very likely the answer is “No”. As all persons were assumed to be of same social status (the usual kind).


Measuring resistance to the Information Flow – measuring knowledge in context to information and other social physical barriers.

• Greater the Knowledge (K) of individuals facilitating the information flow, lower will be the resistance (R) to information flow.
• The information will get diffused and distorted if the number of individuals (N) (in series) in the chain increase. This will be due to lack of unified focused knowledge with respect to information flow.
• Information flow through a social structure requires a minimum social bonding (m)between the individuals of a structure to facilitate information flow.
• Considering the above factors, Resistance to the flow of information can be defined as below
m is a constant of SOCIAL BONDING between the N individuals and K collective knowledge in context to information flow.

By measuring potential of information and the resistance to the flow of information, we can create heat maps of information flow in a digital social structure. These can be used to predict and measure the individual response to the information.

• Ideally a response must be equal to the excitation provided by the information – Response “I”= Excitation “P”
• But the resistance(R) to flow of information will factor down the response as below: I=P/R
Substituting for R
• The above relation shows Information response (I) as a function of potential of information (P) which is flowing through the social structure, the knowledge in context to the information (K) of the carriers of information, (N) Number of individual persons, and (m) being the social bonding constant.

The above concept shows striking parallelism between information flow in a social structure and the current flow in a basic electrical circuit.

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