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What Is the Entropy of a Social Organization?

Chair of Systems Design, ETH Zurich, Weinbergstrasse 58, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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Entropy 2019, 21(9), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21090901
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 11 September 2019 / Published: 17 September 2019
We quantify a social organization’s potentiality, that is, its ability to attain different configurations. The organization is represented as a network in which nodes correspond to individuals and (multi-)edges to their multiple interactions. Attainable configurations are treated as realizations from a network ensemble. To have the ability to encode interaction preferences, we choose the generalized hypergeometric ensemble of random graphs, which is described by a closed-form probability distribution. From this distribution we calculate Shannon entropy as a measure of potentiality. This allows us to compare different organizations as well as different stages in the development of a given organization. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated using data from three empirical and two synthetic systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-edge network; network ensemble; Shannon entropy; social organization multi-edge network; network ensemble; Shannon entropy; social organization
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Zingg, C.; Casiraghi, G.; Vaccario, G.; Schweitzer, F. What Is the Entropy of a Social Organization? Entropy 2019, 21, 901.

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