Proximity calculation on facebook
February 5, 2011 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Can you find how "close" you are to any specific person on facebook using an API (e.g., something very similar to linked-in where it shows how many degrees you are away from someone?)

I know you can find mutual friends -- but I'm really interested in developing an application that can score distance. Thanks in advance
posted by mtstover to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
This used to be a built-in feature, I'm pretty sure they removed it right around the time they stopped requiring a specific e-mail address, e.g., a .edu address or one of the companies they'd partnered with. From what I remember, it just didn't scale well, and eventually it became too taxing on the database and they killed it.
posted by Oktober at 6:38 AM on February 5, 2011

Presumably if you could find friends lists it wouldn't be too hard to implement some standard algorithm for finding distances in graphs. The problem, I'd think, is that it wouldn't scale well. I could imagine, though, that it wouldn't be too hard to check if, say, two people are within four degrees of each other (compare their lists of friends of friends) and so you could perhaps report that the distance is 1, 2, 3, 4, or "more than 4".

(I'm a mathematician, not a programmer.)
posted by madcaptenor at 2:13 PM on February 5, 2011

It appears that I reinvented bidirectional search there.
posted by madcaptenor at 2:30 PM on February 5, 2011

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