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Why the Internet Is So Small

Zhou, S; (2009) Why the Internet Is So Small. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Communications Infrastructure Systems and Applications in Europe: EuropeComm 2009. (pp. pp. 4-12). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

During the last three decades the Internet has experienced fascinating evolution, both exponential growth in traffic and rapid expansion in topology. The size of the Internet becomes enormous, yet the network is very ‘small’ in the sense that it is extremely efficient to route data packets across the global Internet. This paper provides a brief review on three fundamental properties of the Internet topology at the autonomous systems (AS) level. Firstly the Internet has a power-law degree distribution, which means the majority of nodes on the Internet AS graph have small numbers of links, whereas a few nodes have very large numbers of links. Secondly the Internet exhibits a property called disassortative mixing, which means poorly-connected nodes tend to link with well-connected nodes, and vice versa. Thirdly the best-connected nodes, or the rich nodes, are tightly interconnected with each other forming a rich-club. We explain that it is these structural properties that make the global Internet so ‘small’.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Why the Internet Is So Small
Event: International Conference on Communications Infrastructure Systems and Applications in Europe: EuropeComm 2009
ISBN-13: 978-3-642-11283-6
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-11284-3_2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11284-3_2
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Internet, network, topology, autonomous systems, BGP, shortest path, power-law, scale-free, assortative mixing, rich-club
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 Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/76673
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