A dense NYTimes piece from last Sunday:If Achilles Used Facebook...Uses the words “assortative” and “disassortative.” OED defines as
That assorts; assortative mating, non-random mating, mating on the basis of the possession by the partners of similar characteristics, circumstances, etc.
Is this a term of art?
Social networks have been widely studied in recent years; researchers have looked at the interconnectedness of groups like actors, musicians and co-authors of scientific texts. These networks share similar properties: they are highly connected, small worlds. They are assortative, which means that people tend to associate with people like themselves. And their degree distributions are usually scale-free — a small number of people tend to have lots of friends.
Nevah hoiduvit. and disassortative:
“Beowulf” is also assortative, but only if the main character, who is very different from the rest, is removed from the network. The “Tain,” like the fictional networks we studied, is disassortative.