Impact of heterogeneity and socioeconomic factors on individual behavior in decentralized sharing ecosystems

Arnau Gavaldà-Miralles, David R. Choffnes, John S. Otto, Mario A. Sánchez, Fabian E Bustamante, Luis A N Amaral, Jordi Duch*, Roger Guimerà

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tens of millions of individuals around the world use decentralized content distribution systems, a fact of growing social, economic, and technological importance. These sharing systems are poorly understood because, unlike in other technosocial systems, it is difficult to gather large-scale data about user behavior. Here, we investigate user activity patterns and the socioeconomic factors that could explain the behavior. Our analysis reveals that (i) the ecosystem is heterogeneous at several levels: content types are heterogeneous, users specialize in a few content types, and countries are heterogeneous in user profiles; and (ii) there is a strong correlation between socioeconomic indicators of a country and users behavior. Our findings open a research area on the dynamics of decentralized sharing ecosystems and the socioeconomic factors affecting them, and may have implications for the design of algorithms and for policymaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15322-15327
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume111
Issue number43
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2014

Keywords

  • BitTorrent
  • Content sharing
  • Human activity
  • Internet
  • Privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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