Social bridges in urban purchase behavior

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Dong, Xiaowen and Suhara, Yoshihiko and Bozkaya, Burçin and Singh, Vivek K. and Lepri, Bruno and Pentland, Alex (2018) Social bridges in urban purchase behavior. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (SI), 9 (3). ISSN 2157-6904 (Print) 2157-6912 (Online)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3149409


The understanding and modeling of human purchase behavior in city environment can have important implications in the study of urban economy and in the design and organization of cities. In this article, we study human purchase behavior at the community level and argue that people who live in different communities but work at close-by locations could act as "social bridges" between the respective communities and that they are correlated with similarity in community purchase behavior. We provide empirical evidence by studying millions of credit card transaction records for tens of thousands of individuals in a city environment during a period of three months. More specifically, we show that the number of social bridges between communities is a much stronger indicator of similarity in their purchase behavior than traditionally considered factors such as income and sociodemographic variables. Our findings also suggest that such an effect varies across different merchant categories, that the presence of female customers in social bridges is a stronger indicator compared to that of their male counterparts, and that there seems to be a geographical constraint for this effect, all of which may have implications in the studies of urban economy and data-driven urban planning.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Purchase behavior; social bridge; physical environment; credit card transaction
ID Code:34999
Deposited By:Burçin Bozkaya
Deposited On:11 Aug 2018 21:54
Last Modified:22 May 2019 14:04

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