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Evolution and turnover in scaling systems

Bentley, A; Ormerod, P; Batty, M; (2008) Evolution and turnover in scaling systems. (CASA Working Paper Series 135). Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis: London. Green open access


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Scaling has been discovered in the long tails of size distributions characterizing a variety of diverse systems, many of which evolve in terms of the size of their components through competition. Such time-invariant macro distributions, however, often obscure the micro-dynamics of change, such as continual turnover in the rank order of the constituents. Here we show how a model drawn from evolutionary theory can explain this change, such that the time spent in the top ranked constituents is finite and also characterized by longtailed distributions. To show the broad applicability of this model, we compare typical model runs to real-world examples including US boys’ names, UK Number One for pop albums, journal article keywords, and city sizes.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Evolution and turnover in scaling systems
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/15187
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