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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Oct 10;97(21):11149-52.

Classes of small-world networks.

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  • 1Center for Polymer Studies and Department of Physics, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA. amaral@buphy.bu.edu

Abstract

We study the statistical properties of a variety of diverse real-world networks. We present evidence of the occurrence of three classes of small-world networks: (a) scale-free networks, characterized by a vertex connectivity distribution that decays as a power law; (b) broad-scale networks, characterized by a connectivity distribution that has a power law regime followed by a sharp cutoff; and (c) single-scale networks, characterized by a connectivity distribution with a fast decaying tail. Moreover, we note for the classes of broad-scale and single-scale networks that there are constraints limiting the addition of new links. Our results suggest that the nature of such constraints may be the controlling factor for the emergence of different classes of networks.

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