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Six Degrees of Wikipedia

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the finding-the-center dept.

The Internet 296

An anonymous reader notes that someone has applied the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to the articles in Wikipedia. Instead of the relation being "in the same film," he used "is linked to by." From the blog post: "We'll call the 'Kevin Bacon number' from one article to another the 'distance' between them. It's then possible to work out the 'closeness' of an article in Wikipedia as its average distance to any other article. I wanted to find the centre of Wikipedia, that is, the article that is closest to all other articles (has minimum [distance])."

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I know the center (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562791)

It's pretty obvious, and has a Bacon number of 1.0: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page [wikipedia.org]

Re:I know the center (4, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562885)

I think the spirit of the discussion, since Wikipedia is actually a directed graph, is more from the sender's perspective. Every page has a link to the main page, but not the other way around. The main page does not directly link to all other pages (though with search, you can find them).

(me, -1 Obvious)

Re:I know the center (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563393)

So it should have a high prestige, but not closeness.

-5 Obvious

Billy Jean King is the center! (4, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562949)

Is that the one Michael Jackson sings about?

three clicks to to hell:

slashdot
slashdot effect
Larry Niven
Hell

Re:I know the center (1)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562983)

Well, the center really should have number 0, and it should be either on the Erdos number page [wikipedia.org] or, if one insists, on the Kevin Bacon page.

Re:I know the center (5, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563273)

The point with wikipedia is being omitted altogether. In wikipedia, there is just one degree of separation.

(1) See an article.
(2) See another unrelated article.
(3) Edit articles 1 and 2 to link to each other.

Complexity O(1). You could write a (very unpopular) bot that links all wikipedia articles.

Re:I know the center (4, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563679)

Or be even more of a smartass, and write a bot that links all Wikipedia articles to Kevin Bacon's!

Excellent... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23562813)

Now I will win this game on 4chan every time!

Re:Excellent... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563331)

1) Click Random Page
2) Click it again (open it in a new tab)
3) Try to get from page A to page B in as clicks as possible.

Other person repeats, whoever has the smaller number wins!

I never said it was a good game.

Re:Excellent... (5, Funny)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563851)

As someone else pointed out, the largest number is 3.

Edit page -> Insert link to old page and hit Save -> View this page.

And now (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23562829)

I know that Kurt Vonnegut is apparently the only link between Douglas Adams and Adolph Hitler.

Cool stats though.

I don't know about you... (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562835)

.. but I can feel a whole lot of bacon/pork/rashers/pig/swine jokes coming on. Yum yum!

Re:I don't know about you... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23562861)

Not for me thanks, im Jewish.

Re:I don't know about you... (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562883)

not for me either, I'm in the diamond business...

No... I'd rather not (3, Funny)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562887)

I'd be more impressed if we could find the center of Slashdot... except that it's probably somewhere near CowboyNeal's taint. So, on second thought... maybe not.

Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (3, Interesting)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562913)

Ignoring obvious stuff like main page, index etc.. is it not possible that there could be two articles that are not in the same transitive closure at all?

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (4, Interesting)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562971)

In theory. I haven't found two articles with a separation greater than 4, tho.

Orca
Argentina
Saxophone
Oboe
3 clicks needed

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (4, Interesting)

mfarah (231411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563447)

So far, my "personal best" has been 5 clicks:

Shortest path from Pelagius of Asturias to Pham Nuwen

Pelagius of Asturias
Iberian Peninsula
Africa
Zheng He
A Deepness in the Sky
Pham Nuwen

5 clicks needed


I've found several others that require 5 links.

I wish Stephen Dolan would have posted which article(s) has(have) the BIGGEST number as well...

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (3, Funny)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563609)

I totally approve of your choice of search words.

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (2, Interesting)

Redacted (1101591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563833)

Shortest path from Nikon D300 to Ossa

No path found

What do I win?

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (3, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563113)

If you follow the best route in all cases, it takes an average of 4.573 clicks to get from any Wikipedia article to any other.
It would appear there aren't any. Why? I haven't the slightest, however, since editors can add to many seemingly disjoint articles, it would seem that could help - though I'm not sure if the method used here would take that into account.

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (1)

AlecLyons (767385) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563175)

Aren't there orphaned files not linked to from anywhere?

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563829)

I would hope they're not including the talk pages and such where the editors' account pages would be linked. As for

Why?
the real reason is probably due to common practice of linking years and months to giant lists of notable things that happened, for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_3 [wikipedia.org] or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976 [wikipedia.org] or even http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/20th_century [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (1)

thue (121682) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563153)

There is a disjoint partition, since you can count every article which is not linked to as an element in the disjoint partition. A list of article which is not linked to is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:LonelyPages [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (4, Funny)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563327)

That page links to them..

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563415)

uhm... isn't that a page with *links* to those articles?

and isn't it *linked* somewhere else on WP?

yeah, yeah, I know, "special", blah blah. ;)

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (2, Interesting)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563551)

Those aren't linked from any other articles - but they link to other wikipedia articles. Since its a directional graph he's using (from what I gathered) it would appear to me that these would only be disjoint in a one way sort of style. I.E. You can get from A to B in a finite number of steps but you cannot get from B to A - he appears to measure the minimum distance. - However I was able to get thies -
Shortest path from Agassaim to bananas No path found
However that is not always the case for "orphaned" pages -
Shortest path from Aldous to Gould Aldous Aldous Huxley 1949 Western Pacific Railroad Gould 4 clicks needed
And since he is using a directional graph -
Shortest path from Gould to Aldous No path found

Re:Why wouldn't there be disjoint partitions? (2, Interesting)

stedo (855834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563295)

Yes, there are. Read the rest of TFA for exactly how this is handled, but the gist is: closeness of an article = [total length of all shortest paths from this article]/[number of articles reachable from here]. There are a couple of disjoint sets, but they don't actually affect the results much as they're all tiny (disambig pages, etc)

Where All... (3, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562919)

It's sometimes eerie to think of an idea and then see that someone has done it over the weekend and posted it on slashdot.

Last friday at work I was researching different chemicals on wikipedia (a favorite past time of mine) and thought it would be pretty neat if there was a way to find how related two articles were - or to have some way to query the links between two articles to find similarities.

What I really wanted was a very simple query. My SQL is very rusty, so a plain english version might be perhaps, 'show links where link exists in article_a and article_b'

Is there a way to execute SQL queries on wikipedia without having to actually download the entire database? I asked google, but was presented with the SQL page on wikipedia....

Re:Where All... (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563171)

Is there a way to execute SQL queries on wikipedia without having to actually download the entire database? I asked google, but was presented with the SQL page on wikipedia....


If there was a way to do that, it would be through a SQL injection hack.

So, hopefully not.

"What is the use... (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563185)

...in staying up all night arguing over whether there is or isn't a God, if the machine only gives you his bleedin' phone number in the morning!"

You're not the only one with this problem, I fear.

Re:"What is the use... (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563213)

Deep Thoughts do abound around here, eh? ;)

Re:Where All... (5, Funny)

borizz (1023175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563193)

My SQL is very rusty
Yes, and removing the space between My and SQL doesn't really help much either...

Re:Where All... (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563611)

This is a troll....right?

Please, tell me this is a troll.

GET OFF MY LAWN YOU SON OF A BITCH!

Re:Where All... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563641)

(a favorite past time of mine)

Pastime as in something you do to pass the time, not past time as in something that has gone.

Erdos number, please! (4, Insightful)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562925)

This is News for Nerds. Surely the analogy should be to Erdos numbers [oakland.edu] , not Kevin Bacon.

Re:Erdos number, please! (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563143)

Surely the analogy should be to Erdos numbers [oakland.edu], not Kevin Bacon. --
Erdos numbers just don't have the same crackling sound to them.

Re:Erdos number, please! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563145)

I think this is more interesting than either Erdos number or Kevin Bacon number - those are both social network proximities. This is about the proximity of general information. And IMHO it's somewhat believable - if I, John Doe, linked to an article about myself from the article on the UK, it would be removed very quickly. I do wonder if the results are very different than if you did latent semantic analysis on a big corpus of text from more varied sources though. I think links would be somewhat more eccentric than textual content since the links aren't the primary semantic vehicle in hypertext - text is.

Re:Erdos number, please! (1)

Collective 0-0009 (1294662) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563157)

Well at least that site and Kevin Bacon seem to share a birthdate.

Re:Erdos number, please! (3, Informative)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563239)

Also, I'm sure Erdos has priority. I remember people talking about Erdos numbers in the early 80s. I don't think Bacon number goes back before 1990.

Elvis Number (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563357)

I have a low Elvis Number of about 5 or 6, certainly below 10.

Does anybody know what Elvis Presley's Erdos number is?

Re:Erdos number, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563453)

or the Erdos-Bacon number. Or for even more fun; the Erdos-Bacon-Jameson number, but I doubt anyone on /. has a defined Jameson number to use.

United Kingdom? (1)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562947)

Legacy of the colonial era, no doubt.

Re:United Kingdom? (0, Troll)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563009)

the colonial era never died. It just crossed the duckpond

Longest Chain Starting at Kvein Bacon? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23562965)

Best one I've found:

Shortest path from kevin Bacon to Wubi:
Kevin Bacon
Christmas
German language
Unicode
Wubi method
Wubi 86
Wubi

6 clicks needed

"United Kingdom" (1)

Boa Constrictor (810560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23562989)

Good to see it in the middle of the map.

Wikipedia Tracing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23562997)

When I'm bored I like to play the Wikipedia Tracing Game. How to play:

1. Open two tabs with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
2. If either page has less than 5 links, you are allowed a new page.
3. Go from one page to the other in under 6 links within the article.

Re:Wikipedia Tracing (1)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563089)

Try this with a friend. Both start at the same article, and the first one to reach an agreed upon article using links wins. Don't allow use of the back button for more challenge.

This is news? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563015)

Almost every network exhibits small world phenomena. Neural networks, human networks, www, etc. EVERY actor is connected to every other actor by 6 or fewer degrees, not just Kevin Bacon. And every human is connected to every other human by 6 or fewer degrees. And while understanding how small world phenomena helps us understand human networks, I fail to see how this is even slightly interesting applied to Wikipedia.

Re:This is news? (5, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563163)

Small world phenomena in general aren't very interesting, but the specific results are. Your comment is like having an election and saying "big deal, I knew somebody would win!"

Re:This is news? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563265)

I disagree. To me, the opposite is true. I work in the intelligence community, and small world phenomena means a great deal to me. When looking at terrorist networks, for instance, it comes as no surprise to me that every low-level member is only a few links away from the leader, though it never fails to amaze most of my coworkers. Knowing centrality or closeness out to three decimal places usually doesn't mean a whole lot, but knowing about small world phenomena allows a greater understanding of how these kinds of networks operate.

Re:This is news? (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563207)

Did you bother to read the notes on how he parsed the data, or how he used group theory, or how he used distributed computing? While not particularly newsworthy in their own right. I thought that was pretty interesting even if the result should be expected. Also the little shortest path search is pretty fun to play with.

Well, that depends. (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563375)

The six degrees of seperation is an easily-misunderstood concept, making it important that what it is people are looking for is also what people think they are looking for.

The next thing to consider is that Wikipedia is produced by self-selecting contributors who are (necessariy) selective as to what facts (and what references) are to be used, making this a definitely non-random sample using incomplete data out of a population that may have unexpected biases.

What matters, then, is that even under heavily sub-optimal conditions, we are getting the same results as we'd expect from near-perfect data. What also matters is that the incompleteness of the data is not significantly perturbing the distance between any two articles. You would expect it to, but it doesn't.

Link distance (5, Interesting)

ninjapiratemonkey (968710) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563021)

The distance going from Article A to Article B is not necessarily the same as from Article B to article A. For example, the Slashdot [wikipedia.org] page links to the HTTP [wikipedia.org] page, but not vice versa. It would be interesting to know if he took that into consideration when counting links, or whether he would have counted it as one in either direction.

Re:Link distance (5, Informative)

stedo (855834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563311)

I just took it as distance outwards. The "center" I came up with is the article from which it is easiest to get to all others.

Re:Link distance (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563405)

In mathematical terms, this makes Wikipedia a non-simply-connected space. This has two consequences. Firstly, it makes the topology much harder to describe. Secondly, it means that topologists should have enough research material to write books and papers on the dynamics of Wikispace for years to come.

Re:Link distance (1)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563771)

I think there is a simple to prove theorem:

If the distance from article A to B is n, then the distance from B to A is at most 2n.

Proof:
Because every page has a "What links here" page we can walk backwards in twice as many steps. There could be a shorter path which is why the bound is not strict.

Further Proof that... (3, Funny)

LionKimbro (200000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563023)

...the sun never sets, on the British Empire.

Call my lawyer! (1)

Nephroth (586753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563041)

I thought of this years ago! I've got blog posts as prior art! SOMEBODY GET ME A MARSHALL TEXAS JUDGE ON THE LINE!

"six degrees" connections are not uniform (5, Informative)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563045)

In case anyone is interested, the original research that created the idea of 'six degrees of separation' is summarized and analyzed by Malcolm Gladwell in his essay Six Degrees Of Lois Weisberg [gladwell.com] . The original research was done by Stanley Milgram (of greater fame for the (in)famous Milgram Experiment [wikipedia.org] in which people were led to believe that they were shocking other people to death, but continued to do so anyway because they were Just Following Orders.) Milgram's six-degrees research, to sum up, involved handing out a large number of letters to random people, and asking them to give the letters to other people they knew who they thought would be most likely to know a (given, random, unknown-to-everyone-involved) person, and then tracking how those letters actually moved through society to their intended recipients.
The result was a map that showed large groups of closely-connected people, linked by small numbers of people who were linked into many, disparate, closely-linked groups. These people are unusual and their behavior is unusually influential on others, precisely because they serve to transfer information from homogenous groups to other homogenous groups.
It's not that people, or wikipedia articles, are all evenly linked by an average of six links that's important. The idea of 'six degrees of separation' is precisely about the nodes which interlink groups of nodes to each other.

From Bacon to Physics, 3 clicks. (2, Interesting)

certron (57841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563049)

While the results are interesting (I won't spoil it by posting the answers, although I'm sure someone else has already cut to the chase and done it), the way they arrived at their results is more interesting. I'm sure this could be extended to some pretty maps of what links where, or deep/shallow topics in different fields. I had tried to find the number of links between Kevin Bacon and Nuclear Physics, but it didn't like my input. Instead, I discovered that it takes 3 clicks to go from Bacon to Physics, passing through Columbia University and BDSM on the way.

Off-topic, but this is as good a place as any: There was a project hosted on some academic server a few years ago that linked song lyrics together. Clicking on the lyric 'creep' in the lyrics of the Radiohead song of the same title would bring up links to the TLC and Stone Temple Pilots songs of the same title, as well as any other song that used that word in their lyrics. Two songs that shared certain words would be linked by at most 2 clicks. I'm sure it has been buried in Google-cruft in the years since someone figured out that lyrics pages could be slurped up and turned into banner ad farms, but I had been thinking about how this could be re-implemented using a Wiki that would turn every word into a link and then link to a 'what links here' page. Does anyone know where this original project is or what happened to it? Any hints on re-implementing the behavior with a wiki?

Re:From Bacon to Physics, 3 clicks. (1)

certron (57841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563119)

Incidentally, going from Physics to Bacon is also 3 clicks, passing through 1968 and Lisa Loeb in the process.

I remember when searching for certain terms on the Internet could bring you from one article to another and suddenly you'd gone from Seaquest DSV to magnetic monopoles to a South African shaman who talks with UFO aliens and suggests curing diseases with sonic frequencies. Now you can do all that solely through Wikipedia.

Obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/214/ [xkcd.com]

you can do better than that (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563057)

the idea is to find redundant connections between sir francis bacon and kevin bacon: socially, in film, genetically, and via wikipedia links

this sort of alternate connection generation is known as a double bacon whopper with cheese

Fun games to play with your friends (4, Funny)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563071)

Our personal favorite for Wikipedia is "Six degrees of anal sex". You'd be amazed how few steps it takes to go from Rush Limbaugh to butt piracy.

According to TFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563503)

Rush Limbaugh's Wikipedia page links to AIDS which links to Anal Sex. Two degrees of separation, or less than half of the average level of separation between pages.

And you're right, I was amazed. I thought the link from Limbaugh to Anal Sex would go through Dominican Republic.

I meant to say "According to TFA" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563649)

But apparently my subconscious is used to telling people to Read The Fine Manual, not The Fine Article. I'm going to pretend that the M this time stood for "Metadata". Yes, that sounds plausible.

Re:Fun games to play with your friends (1)

DanielJosphXhan (779185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563535)

I don't care what angle it's at, it still sounds like it hurts!

Here's proof that number 2 is almost evil. (5, Funny)

Escogido (884359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563081)

Shortest path from Microsoft to Evil

Microsoft
ASCII
2 (number)
Evil

3 clicks needed

Too bored to make a good pun out of this so please someone else do.

Re:Here's proof that number 2 is almost evil. (1)

certron (57841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563183)

2 is quite evil. Only 2 clicks needed for both of these:

Sex -> Rape -> Violence
Violence -> Video game -> Sex

Draw your own conclusions...

Re:Here's proof that number 2 is almost evil. (5, Funny)

Jorgandar (450573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563507)

How many clicks to profit?

e.g.

1. Kevin bacon
2. ?
3. profit!

The answer is obvious: (1)

imyy4u3 (1290108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563097)

This [wikipedia.org] link will take you to the center of Wikipedia (I am making a joke and being serious - sadly - at the same time).

Oh, well that's okay then... (1)

stoofa (524247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563159)

All this time I have been assuming that Gordon Brownshirt and his minions have been involved in some huge 1984-style conspiracy.

Now I can see that all the data collection was just to get The United Kingdom at the centre of Wikipedia.

Well done all involved... now get back to sorting out the economy!

But what we all want to know is (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563199)

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wants to know about the most remote articles, or who even wants to see distribution graphs, am I? The article is a teaser, not completely satisfactory. :-(

OP is similar to the guy who climbed Mt. Everest (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563201)

They once asked him, why would he do that (as that was dangerous and quite pointless from any practical point of view because there's nothing on top of Mt. Everest and the guy wasn't even a scientist). His answer? "Because it's there."

The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that it's what defines a true geek - doing things even if they're pointless by themselves, for the sake of doing them and proving that this or that completely crazy idea is actually doable. And, of course, because they're fun!

How many degrees can you find? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563209)

I haven't been able to get two words to be more than 4 links apart so far... can anyone come up with words that can beat 4 degrees?

What? (1)

villageidiot357 (808966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563217)

George Bush to Idiot:

George Bush
George H. W. Bush
Brooks Brothers
The Colbert Report
Idiot

It All Depends Who Wrote the Article (4, Funny)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563225)

[[There]] are [[some]] [[Cmdr Taco|idiots]] who [[bracket]] [[every]] other [[word]].

Quote from the article (1)

toetagger (642315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563241)

The complete results are available here. Warning: this is both a very large file (~110MB) and in UTF-8.
Oh, no link to the file in the summary? Let me fix that [netsoc.tcd.ie]

Anyone fluent in python (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563249)

This looks like a job for Google App Engine [google.com] !

Wiki Races (1)

Ninja Master Gara (602359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563257)

A variant game to do with the connected nature of Wikipedia involves a group of people choosing a start page and an end page and seeing who can get there in the least amount of hops. Posting the route allows for interesting analysis of the logic players used to try to get places. The "find shortest path" in the article would kill that tho :P

Billy Jean King (1)

Dice (109560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563263)

FTA:

If you skip past all of the articles that are just lists, years or days of the year, the "real article" closest to the centre is: United Kingdom at an average of 3.67 clicks to anywhere else. Following it are Billie Jean King and United States (in that order, strangely) with averages of 3.68 and 3.69 clicks respectively.


A quick look at her article [wikipedia.org] - along with keeping in mind the previous results of year-and-date type pages being ranked very highly - it seems that her main advantage is that her article is laid out like a (long) biography. Almost every date or year mentioned (and there are a lot of them) is a link to the page for that date or year. If those linked pages have very low Kevin Bacon numbers then she too will have a low number.

Ratware is a black hole (1)

NealAbq (1267110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563275)

You can get from Ratware to Linux in 2 clicks. But you cannot get from Linux to Ratware. It says "No Path Found".

Nothing links to Ratware.

A similiar site (in Common Lisp) (1)

neomage86 (690331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563277)

I wrote something kind of similar as a proof of concept (in common lisp) a little while back: http://icarus.maneks.net:4242/ [maneks.net]

There's a few technical details at http://icarus.maneks.net:4242/static/readme.txt [maneks.net]

I've been meaning to clean it up and release the source (maybe a screencast intro to Lisp?) for a while now. The main problem with mine is that the DB server and Web server are far apart, so it takes forever to get any data

Is this based/inspired by the Wiki game as well? (1)

astro128 (669526) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563307)

Slashdot ran an article [slashdot.org] a while ago about the Wiki Game in which you try to navigate from one predetermined Wiki article to another in the fewest amount of clicks. The Wiki page on the Wiki Game can be found here. [wikipedia.org] Very similar concepts, and very useful to know if you every play the game.

More Fun with IMDB (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563337)

If you want to look something up on IMDB, it can be fun to see if you can use the links on the front page to reach the article you want within seven degrees. I normally count actors but not movies as a degree, but you could try per-click.

Distributed Computing (1)

aembleton (324527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563377)

What an excellent project, and something that I've never considered. Interesting that he made use of distributed computing, and wrote several Perl scripts just to extract the data he needed.

Very cool.

I always knew it! (1)

anthonys_junk (1110393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563395)

Slashdot is one click away from goatse, even when you aren't being trolled.

Slashdot
Goatse.cx

Looks like TFA is one click away from being Slashdotted too...

This game sucks... (1)

erudified (958273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563401)

Want to have some fun on wikipedia?

Click 'random article' and get to Hitler within 5 clicks. Do it.

6 degrees, meh. The ubermensch only need 5!

That's a feeble challenge (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563869)

The standard proposition on /b/ is to get to Hitler in 4 links, 3 for extra win.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Southeast_Asian_Games [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesia [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II [wikipedia.org]
HITLER [wikipedia.org] !

The Disneyporn game. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563403)

I prefer the Disneyporn game, where you go to Disney.com and see how many left clicks it takes to reach porn.

Closest I found (a few years ago) was from Disney to ABC, to ABC Sports, to HP (server provider), to Yahoo index, to massage providers, then a few ad links.

Only fair to ensure your PC is free of extra popup software first.

What about language? (5, Interesting)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563473)

The 6 degrees theory claims that everyone in the world is connected. That means you'd have to include every Wikipedia page in other languages as well, not just English.

I tested some random Japanese Wikipages and the test failed. I then tried some very common English pages and those failed as well "Unknown article...". So I think their server might be having the /. effect.

In any case it doesn't look like they included other languages in their setup.

shortest path (5, Funny)

joelpt (21056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563541)

Shortest path from disney to fuck

The Walt Disney Company
Motion Picture Association of America film rating system
Fuck

2 clicks needed

Surely the most-linked-to article on WP is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563557)

Re:Surely the most-linked-to article on WP is... (1)

Nushio (951488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563877)

[Citation Needed] [wikipedia.org]

Apply this to Facebook and Myspace (1)

fuzzygerbil (1296955) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563629)

Granted it will take a little more effort, and distributed computing will be necessary, but the information would be priceless to those researching demographics and related arts. We could even get a little more creative and build a 3-D online viewer, combined with as much information as is possible to extract from the online profile. (Limited to text to save space) This could easily span across the net, and all social networks, as well as allowing for random people to filter out bots, duplicate profiles, and fake profiles.

Could be refined. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23563635)

Hmmm, I went from Meerkat to Atrac in 3 clicks but I'd question the validity of the second link. In the external links of Altruism, is a link to a BBC podcast and, in parentheses, it is said that it requires RealAudio. The word RealAudio is linked to the Wiki page of RealAudio rather than the company's own home page.

I was disappointed that that link was used. I thought only link within the article per se would be used.

I would contend that nothing in the External Links section of a Wiki page should point back to a Wiki page, even for the case described above. Unfortunately, the application doesn't workaround these "errors".

Excluding "list" pages (4, Insightful)

$random_var (919061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23563823)

The paths it generates from Article A to Article B would be more interesting if they excluded list pages... so far, most of the interesting searches I've tried have been short-circuited by some kind of date page.
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