System, method and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks

  • US 7,069,308 B2
  • Filed: 06/16/2003
  • Issued: 06/27/2006
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/16/2003
  • Status: Active Grant
  • ×
    • Pin Icon | RPX Insight
    • Pin
First Claim
Patent Images

1. In a computer system including a server computer and a database of registered users that stores for each registered user, a user ID of the registered user and a set of user IDs of registered users who are directly connected to the registered user, a method for connecting a first registered user to a second registered user through one or more other registered users, the method comprising the steps of:

  • setting a maximum degree of separation (Nmax) of at least two that is allowed for connecting any two registered users, wherein two registered users who are directly connected are deemed to be separated by one degree of separation and two registered users who are connected through no less than one other registered user are deemed to be separated by two degrees of separation and two registered users who are connected through no less than N other registered users are deemed to be separated by N+1 degrees of separation;

    searching for the user ID of the second registered user in the sets of user IDs that are stored for registered users who are less than Nmax degrees of separation away from the first registered user, and not in the sets of user IDs that are stored for registered users who are greater than or equal to Nmax degrees of separation away from the first registered user, until the user ID of the second registered user is found in one of the searched sets; and

    connecting the first registered user to the second registered user if the user ID of the second registered user is found in one of the searched sets,wherein the method limits the searching of the second registered user in the sets of user IDs that are stored for registered users who are less than Nmax degrees of separation away from the first registered user, such that the first registered user and the second registered user who are separated by more than Nmax degrees of separation are not found and connected.

View all claims
  • 7 Assignments