Guan, SG (reprint author), E China Normal Univ, Dept Phys, Shanghai 200241, Peoples R China.
Inspired by the analysis of several empirical online social networks, we propose a simple reaction-diffusion-like coevolving model, in which individuals are activated to create links based on their states, influenced by local dynamics and their own intention. It is shown that the model can reproduce the remarkable properties observed in empirical online social networks; in particular, the assortative coefficients are neutral or negative, and the power law exponents c are smaller than 2. Moreover, we demonstrate that, under appropriate conditions, the model network naturally makes transition(s) from assortative to disassortative, and from sparse to dense in their characteristics. The model is useful in understanding the formation and evolution of online social networks.