The complex network of musical tastes

TitleThe complex network of musical tastes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsBuldú, J. M., Cano P., Koppenberger M., Almendral J., & Boccaletti S.
Journal TitleNew Journal of Physics
AbstractWe present an empirical study of the evolution of a social network constructed under the influence of musical tastes. The network is obtained thanks to the selfless effort of a broad community of users who share playlists of their favourite songs with other users. When two songs co-occur in a playlist a link is created between them, leading to a complex network where songs are the fundamental nodes. In this representation, songs in the same playlist could belong to different musical genres, but they are prone to be linked by a certain musical taste (e.g. if songs A and B co-occur in several playlists, an user who likes A will probably like also B). Indeed, playlist collections such as the one under study are the basic material that feeds some commercial music recommendation engines. Since playlists have an input date, we are able to evaluate the topology of this particular complex network from scratch, observing how its characteristic parameters evolve in time. We compare our results with those obtained from an artificial network defined by means of a null model. This comparison yields some insight on the evolution and structure of such a network, which could be used as ground data for the development of proper models. Finally, we gather information that can be useful for the development of music recommendation engines and give some hints about how top-hits appear.
preprint/postprint document