When Six Degrees of Separation Meets Online Social Networks: How Low Can the Degree Be?

Zhimin Zhang, Fang Zhou, Huansheng Ning

The proposal of Six Degrees of Separation makes people realize that the world is not as big as we imagined. Even if the world's population now exceeds 7 billion, two strangers can still get in touch through a limited intermediary. When online social networks have taken the world by storm, can people connect through shorter distances? This issue is worth thinking about. This paper describes Six Degrees of Separation and the limitations of this theory in practical applications. Combined with online social networks, the paper analyzes the development and change of the degrees of connection between people. Finally, the paper considers the actual coverage of online social networks and other issues, and rationalizes the possible degrees of the future Six Degrees of Separation.

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