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Social Network Theory, Broadband and the World Wide Web

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  • Sgroi, D.

Abstract

This paper aims to predict some possible futures for the World Wide Web based on several key network parameters: size, complexity, cost and increasing connection speed thorough the uptake of broadband technology. This is done through the production of a taxonomy specifically evaluating the stability properties of the fully-connected star and complete networks, based on the Jackson and Wolinsky (1996) connections model modified to incorporate complexity concerns. We find that when connection speeds are low neither the star nor complete networks are stable, and when connection speeds are high the star network is usually stable, while the complete network is never stable. For intermediate speed levels much depends upon the other parameters. Under plausible assumptions about the future, we find that the Web may be increasingly dominated by a single intermediate site, perhaps best described as a search engine.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0603.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0603.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0603

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

Related research

Keywords: social network theory; connection speed; broadband; complete network; fully-connected star;

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  1. Narine Badasyan & Subhadip Chakrabarti, 2003. "Private Peering Among Internet Backbone Providers," Microeconomics 0301003, EconWPA.
  2. Sanjeev Goyal & Marco van der Leij & José Luis Moraga Gonzales, 2004. "Economics: An Emerging Small World?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1287, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1994. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "A survey of models of network formation: Stability and efficiency," Working Papers 1161, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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