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Recent evidence shows that in many societies the relative sizes of the economic and social elites are continuously shrinking. Is this a natural social phenomenon? We address this question by introducing an axiom-based model for the mutual influence between the elite and the periphery. Among other results derived from this model, we show that in social networks that respect our axioms, the size of a compact elite is sublinear in the network size, contradicting the common belief that the elite size tends to a linear fraction of society (recently claimed to be around 1%). We propose a natural method to create partitions with nice properties, based on the key observation that an elite-periphery partition is at what we call a ‘balance point’, where the elite and the periphery maintain a equal powers, complemented with an analysis of 30 social network data sets.
Yvonne-Anne Pignolet’s work is centered around networked systems, ranging from the analysis of complex network evolution to the design of algorithms for reliable and efficient distributed systems despite failures and malicious behaviour. After her PhD at ETH Zurich in 2009 she was a postdoc at IBM Research Zurich and Ben Gurion University, Be’er Sheva. Yvonne-Anne joined DFINITY after 8 years at ABB Corporate Research as a Principal Scientist.