This Algorithm Tests The Strength Of Your Relationship

Screen Shot 2014 09 24 at 3.57.56 PMDataclysm.orgA friendship network, with various clusters. Awkwardly the person’s ex had a ‘stronger’ relationship than their current partner.

Mathematician and OKCupid founder Christian Rudder and his team have written an online application that analyses your Facebook network to predict the strength of your relationships.

In his new book “Dataclysm: Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking,” Rudder writes about a tool that visualizes your social network and evaluates relationships using a special algorithm created by Rudder’s team.

“The graph assigns weight to relationships, so ‘cliques’ of friends will cluster together. You can mouse over to see people’s names,” the app states.

Young couple heart happy music festivalChristopher Polk/Getty ImagesAs lives become enmeshed, social networks do too. The broader your connections, the stronger your relationship.

In his book, Rudder writes that a relationship involves the merger of two lives, and that by analysing the “embeddedness” of the couple’s social networks you can measure the depth of their integration and the strength of their relationship.

“Research from a variety of sources (emails, IM, telephone) has shown that the more mutual friends two people share, the stronger their relationship. More connections imply more time together, more common interest, and more stability,” Rudder writes.

However, the algorithm Rudder and his team developed measures more than just the number of common connections; it measures the number of clusters of friends you have in common.

Screen Shot 2014 09 24 at 4.02.53 PMDataclysm.orgA partner’s social connections visualized within a person’s broader social network.

According to the team, the more seperate friend-groups a couple has in common — from work to high school to family and college friends — the more embedded the relationship is.

Data networks which show clusters of connected friend groups, like Facebook, are vital to performing this type of analysis.

“For relationships, and romantic relationships specifically, this data has enabled a new, powerful measure of how strong a bond between two people is. It turns out your lives should not just be intertwined, but intertwined in a specific way,” Rudder writes.

You can see your own friend clusters and the measure of your relationship online here.

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