, D. Rybski, S. V. Buldyrev, S. Havlin, H.A. Makse | 2011
2011. European Physical Journal B 84:147-159.
We investigate the timing of messages sent in two online communities with respect to growth fluctuations and long-term correlations. We find that the timing of sending and receiving messages comprises pronounced long-term persistence. Considering the activity of the community members as growing entities, i.e. the cumulative number of messages sent (or received) by the individuals, we identify non-trivial scaling in the growth fluctuations which we relate to the long-term correlations. We find a connection between the scaling exponents of the growth and the long-term correlations which is supported by numerical simulations based on peaks over threshold. In addition, we find that the activity on directed links between pairs of members exhibits long-term correlations, indicating that communication activity with the most liked partners may be responsible for the long-term persistence in the timing of messages. Finally, we show that the number of messages, M, and the number of communication partners, K, of the individual members are correlated following a power-law, K∼Mλ, with exponent λ≈3/4.