LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for SOCNET Archives


SOCNET Archives

SOCNET Archives


SOCNET@LISTS.UFL.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SOCNET Home

SOCNET Home

SOCNET  June 2003

SOCNET June 2003

Subject:

Connecting end-points in the Amazon.com network

From:

Eric Promislow <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Eric Promislow <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 6 Jun 2003 03:31:58 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (93 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/  *****

My first day on this list, but I think this is an appropriate forum
to announce a website I first built three years ago, using
Amazon's affinity info on customers' buying patterns.  In early 2000
I gathered info on 3000 musical artists; a year later I picked up
about 5000 artists, with about 20,000 links.  Then Amazon changed
their format slightly, a sys-admin rearranged files on my machine,
I was busy with work, and I left the site alone, languishing with
data that got more out-dated every week.

Then last summer Amazon announced their Web Services program AWS[1], which
made their data available directly without having to parse HTML.
So I brought my server back to life, wrote a couple of programs, and
now have a database of about 440,000 items and 3.6 million links.
The items currently cover books, CDs, and videos.

The site is http://www.baconizer.com/ -- Jon Udell wrote it up a
month ago in his infoworld.com blog, along with a paragraph on
Valdis Krebs' work.  I haven't found any business applications
with my site; it's basically a cool diversion.  I'm reading up
on clustering algorithms, but haven't implemented anything yet.
But using the site definitely shows clusters.  A query like
http://www.baconizer.com/cgi-bin/boston?title1=6300988678&title2=0380809087
will make this obvious.

The Baconizer draws shortest paths between any two nodes in its
database.  In April's 400,000 nodes, 380,000 were in one component, which
meant that you could reach any two of them.  Given two nodes A and B
in two different components, there might be a path from A to B, or
from B to A, but not both -- then they would be in the same
component.  I haven't calculated the May data's components, but
I've noticed that items like Buffy videos that were in a remote
component are now in the main one.

Computationally, finding a shortest path is easy -- it's about
50 lines of C code.  The clustering is harder, but I can run
a process for days, if that's what it takes.  The next part is
labeling the clusters.  I should look to see if Amazon is returning
genre information now.  I wrote the gather against version 1 of
the AWS, and they're on version 3 now.

I update the data on a monthly basis -- one of the terms of using the
Amazon web service is that a developer shouldn't make more than
one query per second, which means pulling down 400,000 items
will take about five days, allowing for network timeouts/retries.
It turns out to be much more than that, as I don't throttle their
web service at one request/second, as the live web site uses it
as well.

The numerical data is interesting.  For one thing, the links are
directed, and their distribution follows a power law, with a
factor of around -2 if I recall correctly.   I seed the graph
with albums by the Bacon Brothers, and every month reach about
400,000 items.  This time I merged the May data with the April --
40,000 nodes from April weren't found, but 40,000 new ones were.
This fits with an aging model for the sort of items Amazon sells.
I just merge the data together to make the site richer, but keep
the original data sets intact.

The average shortest distance is around 11, with the longest path
at 53 for May.  The nodes at the center tend to be history textbooks,
blues albums, and mainstream best-sellers.  At the periphery
I find genres, like romance, pre-teen girls' series like the
Babysitter's Club, TV series videos, books on comic books and
Japanese anime and manga characters, live CDs from prolific bands
like Phish and Pearl Jam, and various kinds of Bob Marley remixes.

It gives an interesting view of North American pop culture.  I'm
wondering if anyone here is interested in pursuing this as a
research tool.  Also, unlike many of the other networks I've
seen, this one is built based on what people are doing with their
hard-earned cash right now.  I find the patterns that emerge from
that kind of data more interesting than which actors worked with
which others, which are drier facts.  That didn't stop me from
naming the site after the Oracle of Bacon.

I'm not a researcher -- I work for a small software company
building development tools that let programmers use open-source
languages in the new Windows .NET environment.  About the only
application of the Baconizer for my work is that I now can spot a
cyclic graph from miles away.

Eric Promislow
[log in to unmask]

[1] http://www.amazon.com/gp/aws/landing.html

_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.sfu.ca/~insna/). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008, Week 62
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.UFL.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager