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Correspondence patterns

Mechanisms and models of human dynamics (Reply)

Naturevolume 441pagesE5E6 (2006) | Download Citation



Kentsis notes that the response time to an e-mail or a letter depends on the semantic content of the correspondence, as well as the social context in which the communication arises1. We would add that it also depends on deadlines, the time dependence of priorities and the dropping of past-deadline messages2, making human response dynamics sufficiently complicated that no simple model could fully account for it3,4,5,6. However, the advantage of the proposed modelling framework is that most of these effects can be incorporated into it, and their impact on the queuing process can be systematically evaluated. Addressing some of these additional mechanisms, including those suggested by Kentsis, requires information that is beyond reach for most researchers at this point.

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    Kentsis, A. Nature 441, doi:10.1038/nature04901 (2006).

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    Vázquez, A. et al. Phys. Rev. E 73, 036127 (2006).

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    Barabási, A.-L. Nature 435, 207–211 (2005).

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    Oliveira, J. G. & Barabási, A.-L. Nature 437, 1251 (2005).

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    Vázquez, A. Phys. Rev. Lett 95, 248701 (2005).

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    Horvitz, E., Kadie, C. M., Paek, T. & Hovel, D. Commun. ACM 46, 52–59 (2003).

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  1. Department of Physics and Center for Complex Networks Research, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, 46556, USA

    • J. G. Oliveira
    •  & A.-L. Barabàsi
  2. Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, Aveiro, 3810-193, Portugal

    • J. G. Oliveira
  3. Center for Cancer Systems Biology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University, Boston, 02115, Massachusetts, USA

    • A.-L. Barabàsi


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Correspondence to J. G. Oliveira.

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