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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Jan 8;104(1):018701. Epub 2010 Jan 6.

Towards design principles for optimal transport networks.

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Center for Polymer Studies, Department of Physics, Boston University, 590 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


We investigate the navigation problem in lattices with long-range connections and subject to a cost constraint. Our network is built from a regular two-dimensional (d=2) square lattice to be improved by adding long-range connections (shortcuts) with probability P(ij) approximately r(ij)(-alpha), where r(ij) is the Manhattan distance between sites i and j, and alpha is a variable exponent. We introduce a cost constraint on the total length of the additional links and find optimal transport in the system for alpha=d+1 established here for d=1 and d=2. Remarkably, this condition remains optimal, regardless of the strategy used for navigation, being based on local or global knowledge of the network structure, in sharp contrast with the results obtained for unconstrained navigation using global or local information, where the optimal conditions are alpha=0 and alpha=d, respectively. The validity of our results is supported by data on the U.S. airport network.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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