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Inferring cultural regions from correlation networks of given baby names

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-05-16, 10:59 authored by M Pomorski, MJ Krawczyk, K Kulakowski, J Kwapien, M Ausloos
We report investigations on the statistical characteristics of the baby names given between 1910 and 2010 in the United States of America. For each year, the 100 most frequent names in the USA are sorted out. For these names, the correlations between the names profiles are calculated for all pairs of states (minus Hawaii and Alaska). The correlations are used to form a weighted network which is found to vary mildly in time. In fact, the structure of communities in the network remains quite stable till about 1980. The goal is that the calculated structure approximately reproduces the usually accepted geopolitical regions: the North East, the South, and the ”Midwest + West” as the third one. Furthermore, the dataset reveals that the name distribution satisfies the Zipf law, separately for each state and each year, i.e. the name frequency f ∝ r^−α, where r is the name rank. Between 1920 and 1980, the exponent α is the largest one for the set of states classified as ’the South’, but the smallest one for the set of states classified as ”Midwest + West”. Our interpretation is that the pool of selected names was quite narrow in the Southern states. The data is compared with some related statistics of names in Belgium, a country also with different regions, but having quite a different scale than the USA. There, the Zipf exponent is low for young people and for the Brussels citizens.

Funding

This paper is part of scientific activities in COST Action TD1210 ‘Analyzing the dynamics of information and knowledge landscapes’ and COST Action IC120 ‘Computational Social Choice’. The work was partially supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and its grants for Scientific Research and by the PL-Grid Infrastructure.

History

Citation

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 2016, 445, pp. 169-175 (7)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Business

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications

Publisher

Elsevier for North-Holland

issn

0378-4371

eissn

1873-2119

Copyright date

2015

Available date

2019-05-16

Publisher version

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378437115009814?via=ihub

Language

en

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