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Dear Friends,

The patent application "Recommending contacts in a social network" is
about to expire.  This patent application was submitted to the
Peer-to-Patent community review pilot by Microsoft for examination by
the community.  A summary is below.  If you have any information to add,
prior art that has not been submitted, or further comment, please visit  We strongly
encourage you to forward this to your peers.

Application Summary:
A social network consists of individuals and their relationships to
other individuals. Two individuals in a social network may have a direct
relationship and may also have indirect relationships. For example, if
Tom and Mary both have a direct relationship with Jim they have an
indirect relationship to each other. The number of relationships between
two individuals is commonly referred to as their “degree of
separation”. For example, Tom and Mary have two degrees of separation.
Because social networks can have thousands of individuals social
networks can be very complex. Luckily, much of a person’s direct
relationships can be derived from data stored by computer system such as
contact lists for e-mail programs, instant messaging programs, event
organizing programs, or so on.
This application relates to a method and system for recommending
potential contacts who are related to the user through no more than a
maximum degree of separation. The system identifies the user’s
contacts and then identifies contacts of those contacts until the
maximum degree of separation is reached. The system then may rank the
contacts based on contact paths and may also filter out identified users
who do not satisfy a recommendation criterion. The user can then decide
whether to add the presented users as one of their contacts.

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