May 24, 2005

How does Europe Make Its Mind Up? Connections, cliques, and compatibility between countries in the Eurovision Song Contest

"We investigate the complex relationships between countries in the Eurovision Song Contest, by recasting past voting data in terms of a dynamical network. Despite the British tendency to feel distant from Europe, our analysis shows that the U.K. is remarkably compatible, or 'in tune', with other European countries. Equally surprising is our finding that some other core countries, most notably France, are significantly 'out of tune' with the rest of Europe. In addition, our analysis enables us to confirm a widely-held belief that there are unofficial cliques of countries -- however these cliques are not always the expected ones, nor can their existence be explained solely on the grounds of geographical proximity. The complexity in this system emerges via the group 'self-assessment' process, and in the absence of any central controller. One might therefore speculate that such complexity is representative of many real-world situations in which groups of 'agents' establish their own inter-relationships and hence ultimately decide their own fate. Possible examples include groups of individuals, societies, political groups or even governments."
Link thanks to Miles. Posted by Martin Sewell at May 24, 2005 7:06 PM | TrackBack