Assortative networks are those where similar nodes are more well-connected to each other than dissimilar ones − and one aspect of this similarity may itself be well-connectedness.
Nature published an article this week which threw some light on the peculiar professional ties between rap artists. Although a milieux noted for its collaborative nature, there are fewer collaborations between the most connected artists compared to other musical genres (and other celebrity subcultures such as Hollywood). This is perhaps a sign of intense commercial rivalry tinted with gangland mores.
That one creative group within our culture is more or less assortative than another is possibly not that interesting in itself, but combine this metric with others and a whole field of interesting investigations opens up:
- Are more assortative artists creatively and commercially more successful?
- How much of their creative ouput derives from connectivity as opposed to what they could have achieved on their own?