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Power law distributions in real and virtual worlds

Shiode, N; Batty, M; (2000) Power law distributions in real and virtual worlds. (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis Working Paper Series 19). UCL (University College London), Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (UCL): University College London. Green open access

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Abstract

This study compares the statistical patterns of size and connectivity of the globaldomains (as in ?.com? and ?.uk?) to the geographical distribution of the globalpopulation. As the development of Web sites represents the cutting edge of the newglobal economy, their sizes and contents are likely to reflect the distribution ofpopulation and the urban geography of the real world. There is widespread evidence thatpopulation and other socio-economic activities at different scales are distributedaccording to the rank-size rule and that such scaling distributions are associated withsystems that have matured or grown to a steady state where their growth rates do notdepend upon scale. In this paper, we advance the hypothesis that the growth of Webpages in different domains is not yet stable. This is supported by our analysis that showsthat the most mature domains with the most pages follow near rank-size relations butthat countries which are much less advanced in their development and use of internettechnologies show size relations which, although scaling, do not conform to rank-size.Our speculation is that as the Web develops, all domains will ultimately follow the samepower laws as these technologies mature and adoption becomes more uniform. As yetwe are unable to support our hypothesis with temporal data but the structure in thecross-sectional data we have collected, is consistent with a system which is rapidlychanging and has not yet reached its steady state.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Power law distributions in real and virtual worlds
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Additional information: Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 19th Nov 2005
Keywords: analysis, distribution, hyperlink, law, population, power law, rank-size rule, SERIES, spatial analysis, Web site size
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1364
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