Interacting human activities underlie the patterns of many social, technological, and economic phenomena. Here we present clear empirical evidence from Short Message correspondence that observed human actions are the result of the interplay of three basic ingredients: Poisson initiation of tasks and decision making for task execution in individual humans as well as interaction among individuals. This interplay leads to new types of interevent time distribution, neither completely Poisson nor power-law, but a bimodal combination of them. We show that the events can be separated into independent bursts which are generated by frequent mutual interactions in short times following random initiations of communications in longer times by the individuals. We introduce a minimal model of two interacting priority queues incorporating the three basic ingredients which fits well the distributions using the parameters extracted from the empirical data. The model can also embrace a range of realistic social interacting systems such as e-mail and letter communications when taking the time scale of processing into account. Our findings provide insight into various human activities both at the individual and network level. Our analysis and modeling of bimodal activity in human communication from the viewpoint of the interplay between processes of different time scales is likely to shed light on bimodal phenomena in other complex systems, such as interevent times in earthquakes, rainfall, forest fire, and economic systems, etc.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Nov 2010|
Scopus Subject Areas
- Human dynamics
- Poisson process
- Waiting time