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Type: Journal article
Title: How the Avengers assemble: ecological modelling of effective cast sizes for movies
Author: Roughan, M.
Mitchell, L.
South, T.
Citation: PLoS One, 2020; 15(2):e0223833-1-e0223833-31
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1932-6203
Statement of
Matthew Roughan, Lewis Mitchell, Tobin South
Abstract: The number of characters in a movie is an important feature. However, it is non-trivial to measure directly, for example naive metrics such as the number of credited characters vary wildly. Here, we show that a metric based on the notion of ecological diversity as expressed through a Shannon-entropy based metric can characterise the number of characters in a movie, and is useful in taxonomic classification. We also show how the metric can be generalised using Jensen-Shannon divergence to provide a measure of the similarity of characters appearing in different movies, for instance of use in recommendation systems, e.g., Netflix. We apply our measures to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and show what they teach us about this highly successful franchise of movies. In particular, these measures provide a useful predictor of success for films in the MCU, as well as a natural means to understand the relationships between the stories in the overall film arc.
Keywords: Mathematical modelling
Rights: © 2020 Roughan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223833
Grant ID: ARC
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 8
Mathematical Sciences publications

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