April 21, 2003

Does E-mail Convey Information?

At last, scientific evidence that e-mail actually contains measurable (Shannon) information:

Jean-Pierre Eckmann, Elisha Moses and Danilo Sergi, "Dialog in e-Mail Traffic", cond-mat/0304433
Abstract: Connectivity and topology are known to yield information about networks, whose origin is self-organized, but the impact of temporal dynamics in a network is still mostly unexplored. Using an information theoretic approach to e-mail exchange, we show that an e-mail network allows for a separation of static and dynamic structures within it. The static structures are related to organizational units such as departments. The temporally linked structures turn out to be more goal-oriented, functional units such as committees and user groups.

It's a cool idea, and, unlike many ventures into information theory by my fellow physicists, actually pretty well done. It's also a sign that I need to finish that paper about measuring distributed information in networks very soon.

Complexity; Networks

Posted at April 21, 2003 11:06 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth