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J Comput Biol. 2006 Apr;13(3):810-8.

How scale-free are biological networks.

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  • 1Department of Statistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QW, UK.


The concept of scale-free network has emerged as a powerful unifying paradigm in the study of complex systems in biology and in physical and social studies. Metabolic, protein, and gene interaction networks have been reported to exhibit scale-free behavior based on the analysis of the distribution of the number of connections of the network nodes. Here we study 10 published datasets of various biological interactions and perform goodness-of-fit tests to determine whether the given data is drawn from the power-law distribution. Our analysis did not identify a single interaction network that has a nonzero probability of being drawn from the power-law distribution.

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