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The complexity and robustness of metro networks

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Author Info

  • Derrible, Sybil
  • Kennedy, Christopher
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    Abstract

    Transportation systems, being real-life examples of networks, are particularly interesting to analyze from the viewpoint of the new and rapidly emerging field of network science. Two particular concepts seem to be particularly relevant: scale-free patterns and small-worlds. By looking at 33 metro systems in the world, this paper adapts network science methodologies to the transportation literature, and offers one application to the robustness of metros; here, metro refers to urban rail transit with exclusive right-of-way, whether it is underground, at grade or elevated. We find that most metros are indeed scale-free (with scaling factors ranging from 2.10 to 5.52) and small-worlds; they show atypical behaviors, however, with increasing size. In particular, the presence of transfer-hubs (stations hosting more than three lines) results in relatively large scaling factors. The analysis provides insights/recommendations for increasing the robustness of metro networks. Smaller networks should focus on creating transfer stations, thus generating cycles to offer alternative routes. For larger networks, few stations seem to detain a certain monopole on transferring, it is therefore important to create additional transfers, possibly at the periphery of city centers; the Tokyo system seems to remarkably incorporate these properties.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

    Volume (Year): 389 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 17 ()
    Pages: 3678-3691

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:389:y:2010:i:17:p:3678-3691

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    Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physica-a-statistical-mechpplications/

    Related research

    Keywords: Metro; Public transportation; Network; Graph theory; Scale-free; Small-world; Robustness;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2007. "Modeling the Growth of Transportation Networks: A comprehensive review," Working Papers 200907, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. B. Berche & C. von Ferber & T. Holovatch & Yu. Holovatch, 2009. "Resilience of public transport networks against attacks," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 125-137, September.
    3. C. von Ferber & T. Holovatch & Yu. Holovatch & V. Palchykov, 2009. "Public transport networks: empirical analysis and modeling," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 68(2), pages 261-275, March.
    4. Sybil Derrible & Christopher Kennedy, 2010. "Characterizing metro networks: state, form, and structure," Transportation, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 275-297, March.
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    10. David Levinson & Bhanu Yerra, 2006. "Self Organization of Surface Transportation Networks," Working Papers 200603, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    11. Seaton, Katherine A. & Hackett, Lisa M., 2004. "Stations, trains and small-world networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 339(3), pages 635-644.
    12. Sun, H.J. & Wu, J.J. & Gao, Z.Y., 2008. "Dynamics of traffic networks: From microscopic and macroscopic perspectives," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(7), pages 1648-1654.
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    15. von Ferber, C. & Holovatch, T. & Holovatch, Yu. & Palchykov, V., 2007. "Network harness: Metropolis public transport," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 380(C), pages 585-591.
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    Cited by:
    1. Zhang, Jianhua & Zhao, Mingwei & Liu, Haikuan & Xu, Xiaoming, 2013. "Networked characteristics of the urban rail transit networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(6), pages 1538-1546.
    2. David Levinson, 2011. "Network Structure and City Size," Working Papers 000094, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    3. Zhang, Jianhua & Xu, Xiaoming & Hong, Liu & Wang, Shuliang & Fei, Qi, 2011. "Networked analysis of the Shanghai subway network, in China," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 390(23), pages 4562-4570.

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