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We revisit experimental data from an online cultural market in which 14,000 users interact to download songs, and develop a simple model that can explain seemingly complex outcomes. Our results suggest that individual behavior is characterized by a two-step process--the decision to sample and the decision to download a song. Contrary to conventional wisdom,(More)
Recent research has focused on the monitoring of global-scale online data for improved detection of epidemics, mood patterns, movements in the stock market political revolutions, box-office revenues, consumer behaviour and many other important phenomena. However, privacy considerations and the sheer scale of data available online are quickly making global(More)
Using the mathematical background for algorithmic complexity developed by Kol-mogorov in the sixties, Cilibrasi and Vitanyi have designed a similarity distance named normalized compression distance applicable to the clustering of objects of any kind, such as music, texts or gene sequences. The normalized compression distance is a quasi-universal normalized(More)
The Internet and social media have enabled the mobilization of large crowds to achieve time-critical feats, ranging from mapping crises in real time, to organizing mass rallies, to conducting search-and-rescue operations over large geographies. Despite significant success, selection bias may lead to inflated expectations of the efficacy of social(More)
An important question in behavioral epidemiology and public health is to understand how individual behavior is affected by illness and stress. Although changes in individual behavior are intertwined with contagion, epidemiologists today do not have sensing or modeling tools to quantitatively measure its effects in real-world conditions. In this paper, we(More)
Mobile phones are a pervasive platform for opportunistic sensing of behaviors and opinions. We show that location and communication sensors can be used to model individual symptoms, long-term health outcomes, and diffusion of opinions in a community. For individuals, phone-based features can be used to predict changes in health, such as common colds,(More)
Connectivity is the key process that characterizes the structural and functional properties of social networks. However, the bursty activity of dyadic interactions may hinder the discrimination of inactive ties from large interevent times in active ones. We develop a principled method to detect tie de-activation and apply it to a large longitudinal,(More)
This correspondence studies the influence of noise on the normalized compression distance (NCD), a measure based on the use of compressors to compute the degree of similarity of two files. This influence is approximated by a first order differential equation which gives rise to a complex effect, which explains the fact that the NCD may give values greater(More)