Scale-free networks are a recently developed approach to modelling the interactions found in complex natural and man-made systems. Such networks exhibit a power-law distribution of node link (degree) frequencies in which a small number of highly connected nodes predominate over a much greater number of sparsely connected ones.
A recently identified, but now classic example of a scale-free network is the World Wide Web: web pages are nodes. These are connected by hyperlinks. Other examples of such networks traverse disparate fields including scientific paper citations, communications networks and power grids, neural networks, and protein-protein interactions.
The now well-known Albert-Barabási constructive algorithm for constructing scale-free networks centres on the concept of preferential attachment in which the probability of a new node linking to an existing node is proportional to its relative number of links. I contend that when a new node is appended, the global knowledge of node degrees required by Albert-Barabási approach is unrealistic. Instead I propose a locally-derived linking criterion in which only a small part of the total network is considered each time. The Albert-Barabási constructive algorithm then becomes a limiting case of the proposed local algorithm.
I note the existence of 'super hubs' in the extended tail of the connectivity distributions produced by the local preferential linking approach.
Last modified: Thursday, 28-Jul-2005 17:23:30 NZST
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