New music download patterns appear to closely resemble epidemic curves for infectious disease, study finds.
Dora Rosati, lead author of the study, along with colleagues, wondered whether they could learn anything about how songs become popular using mathematical tools that are more usually applied to study the spread of infectious diseases.
The team turned to a database of almost 1.4bn individual song downloads from the now-discontinued music streaming service MixRadio. Focusing on the top 1,000 songs downloaded in the UK between 2007 and 2014, they measured how well a standard model of epidemic disease, called the SIR model, fitted trends in song downloads over time.
The research, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences, found the model performed just as well when describing song download trends as it did when describing the spread of a disease through the population.
Rosati said: "It implies that a lot of the social processes that drive the spread of disease, or analogues(类似物) of those processes, might also be driving the spread of songs. More specifically, it supports the idea that both music and infectious diseases depend on social connections to spread through populations."
"With a disease, if you come into contact with someone who is ill, then you have a certain chance of catching that disease. With songs, it looks very similar. The big difference is that for songs, it doesn't necessarily have to be physical contact – it could be that my friend used this cool new song in their Instagram story, so now I'm going to go and find it."
Dr Thomas Rawson, a disease modeller at Imperial College London, said: "It's something that makes complete sense, when you consider that word of mouth is something that, much like disease, it will carry on via other people. The main difference is that there are more ways for music to spread.
If song popularity really is driven by the same contagious processes as disease, it could open new ways of predicting how new music releases could take off, and present opportunities to boost their spread.1. According to the study, ______ A. Songs using mathematical tools are more likely to become popular.
B. Certain pattern of music are downloaded by more people in the UK.
C. The spread of music agrees with that of infectious disease.
D. People with infectious disease listen to similar songs. 2. We learn from the passage that ______ A. MixRadio stopped service in 2014.
B. Some kinds of songs may cure an infectious disease.
C. A certain disease may influence the trends in song downloads.
D. Studying the models of infectious disease may contribute to a better understanding of song popularity.3. According to Rosati, what may contribute most to the result of the study? A. Social processes B. Analogues C. Social connections D. Music patterns4. What does the underlined "contagious" in the last parapgraph probably mean?
1. resemble：to look like or be similar to another person or thing 看起来像；显得像；像2. infectious：an infectious disease can be passed easily from one person to another, especially through the air they breathe 传染性的，感染的3. individual：considered separately rather than as part of a group 单独的；个别的4. measure：to judge the importance, value or effect of sth 估量，判定（重要性、价值或影响等）5. fit：to agree with, match or be suitable for sth; to make sth do this （使）与…一致，和…相称，符合6. trend：~ (towards/in sth) a general direction in which a situation is changing or developing 趋势；趋向；倾向；动态；动向7. perform：~ (well/badly/poorly) to work or function well or badly 工作，运转（好╱不好）8. imply：to make it seem likely that sth is true or exists 说明；表明9. come into contact with：接触到，联系，开始做某事10. certain：used to mention a particular thing, person or group without giving any more details about it or them （不提及细节时用）某事，某人，某种11. make sense：be reasonable or logical or comprehensible 讲得通12. complete：used when you are emphasizing sth, to mean ‘to the greatest degree possible’ （用以强调）完全的，彻底的☆【v.】to finish making or doing sth 完成；结束13. predict：to say that sth will happen in the future 预言；预告；预报▲when an aeroplane takes off, it leaves the ground and starts flying. (飞机) 起飞▲If something such as a product, an activity, or someone's career takes off, it suddenly becomes very successful. 突然成功（√）▲If you take a garment off, you remove it. 脱去▲If you take time off, you obtain permission not to go to work for a short period of time. 休假15. boost：to make sth increase, or become better or more successful 使增长；使兴旺
本文是一篇典型的研究报告类文本，研究的是两个对象（music popularity和infectious disease）之间的正比例关系（resemble）。这种文本一打眼看上去很难，但是只要掌握了“对象”和“主题”，一切就都so easy了。比如说，基于我们刚才对这个文本的分析和判断，我们前两个小题都可以直接得出答案（1C，2D）。第1题中A和B两个选项所陈述的都是单一对象，D选项虽然是两个对象都有呈现，但是属于“偏述”，本文探讨的不是得某种病和听某种歌之间的关系，而是歌曲的走红模式和流行病的传播方式相似，所以由此可以排除D选择C。
第2题的A选项属于偷换概念，是基于文章中的“now-discontinued”一词所设计的干扰项，有同学一看到选项里有“stop service”之间就容易上头，跟“now-discontinued”对应，但是，后边的时间状语是张冠李戴，文中的时间状语修饰的是“download”，与A选项描述对象不一致，故排除。B和C两个选项都是两个对象同时呈现的，B是基于文中的“how well ....disease”来设置的，对于一个基础不太好刚刚接触找对应的同学来讲，这一定是一个干扰；而C选项与第1题的D选项有异曲同工之妙。D选项其实跟最后一段也是一个对应，但是因为题量有限，所以就取舍掉合二为一了。
第3题的ABC三个选项都在第五段中出现，本题都不涉及同义代换，关键在于问题中的“the result of the study”，其实就是要我们判断两个对象为什么会产生关系，所以直接对应文中的“both music and infectious diseases depend on social connections to spread through populations.” 故选C。
第4题的词义猜测，A项干扰在于上文有出现“connections”和 “come into connect with”，所以同学们又容易冲动上去选A，包括C选项的similar，也是因为文章在讨论这两个模式之间的相似性，所以干扰性也很大，而D选项正好跟A和C反着，也就只能排除D，这道题的关键还是在于文本主题的确定，文章反复讨论的是音乐的传播和病毒的传播（传染性疾病）之间的相似性，所以当比较的一个对象是song popularity, 另一个对象是the same ____ process of disease”， 此处就是传播（传染）过程，故选B。另外给大家推荐2016浙江高考阅读理解C篇，模式与本文一致哦，大家也可以从文本分析的角度去看一看。