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Homophily and influence #
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See also Causality and Contagion.

It has been well-known that "similarity breeds connection"^1, and the phenomenon is called 'homophily'. One of the biggest issues is "can we distinguish influence from homophily with observational data?" James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis published a series of paper on the spreading of obesity, smoking, etc through a social network. There has been a long debate on these papers.

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