Henneberg Growth of Social Networks : Modeling the Facebook

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
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  • Yichao Zhang
  • Dong Lin
  • Zhengping Fan

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-712
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Online published16 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


Social networks are complex in their forming and growing processes. Tremendous empirical evidence in undirected social networks, such as Facebook, Quora and Foursquare, demonstrates that, to a large extent, individuals are associated with each other not by preference but through other organizing rules. One such rule found in many real social networks is the Henneberg growth mechanism, with which a triangle will be formed whenever an individual joins a community. Inspired by this mechanism, a novel social network model, named Henneberg growth model, is proposed in this paper. Some topological and dynamical properties of the model in common interest are analyzed. Experimental results show that the function and structure of the model are in remarkable agreement with two huge-scale Facebook network datasets. The finding suggests that the Henneberg growth mechanism is indeed fundamental for modeling some undirected social networks like the Facebook.

Research Area(s)

  • Facebook network, Henneberg growth, Power-law distribution, Degree correlation