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Six degrees of Wikipedia

Posted by Kunal on November 18, 2004

You probably know about the Kekule connects from the quiz blog or you may have come across them in Mad Magazine. This is slightly different, but it is equally fun. It is a tool that finds the shortest path between two Wikipedia* subjects.

I tried to find a path from Mahatma Gandhi to James Hetfield :). This is what I got : Mahatma_Gandhi -> August_9 -> August_3 -> James_Hetfield. They are just 4 degrees apart! Who would have thought that the paragon of peace and a lead singer of a heavy metal band are so close.

I tried another one, this time from Pascal to Ada. Since both are programming languages, one might expect a shorter route. But surprisingly, I got a six degree separation between them! It was :Pascal -> Blaise_Pascal -> August_19 -> 1953 -> Mátyás_Rákosi -> Ada.

A few more of my tries:
Quiz to R.K. Narayan : Quiz -> BBC -> 2001 -> R.K._Narayan
James Gosling to Charles Babbage : James Gosling -> Java programming language -> Programming language -> Charles Babbage
P.L. Deshpande to U.S. Senate election, 1972 : I got a 15 degree connect on this one!

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* Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia which anyone can edit.

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