Interevent time distributions of human multi-level activity in a virtual world

Mryglod O, Fuchs B, Szell M, Holovatch Y, & Thurner S (2015). Interevent time distributions of human multi-level activity in a virtual world. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 419: 681-690. DOI:10.1016/j.physa.2014.09.056.

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Abstract

Studying human behaviour in virtual environments provides extraordinary opportunities for a quantitative analysis of social phenomena with levels of accuracy that approach those of the natural sciences. In this paper we use records of player activities in the massive multiplayer online game Pardus over 1,238 consecutive days, and analyze dynamical features of sequences of actions of players. We build on previous work were temporal structures of human actions of the same type were quantified, and provide an empirical understanding of human actions of different types. This study of multi-level human activity can be seen as a dynamic counterpart of static multiplex network analysis. We show that the interevent time distributions of actions in the Pardus universe follow highly non-trivial distribution functions, from which we extract action-type specific characteristic "decay constants." We discuss characteristic features of interevent time distributions, including periodic patterns on different time scales, bursty dynamics, and various functional forms on different time scales. We comment on gender differences of players in emotional actions, and find that while males and females act similarly when performing some positive actions, females are slightly faster for negative actions. We also observe effects on the age of players: more experienced players are generally faster in making decisions about engaging and terminating in enmity and friendship, respectively.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Quantitative sociology; Human action dynamics; Time series analysis; Online games
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Bibliographic Reference: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications; 419:681-690 (1 February 2015) (Published online 22 October 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2016 16:37
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11556

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