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Complex Network Phenomena in Telecommunication Systems


Author Info

  • Laura A. Schintler

    (George Mason University)

  • Sean P. Gorman

    (George Mason University)

  • Aura Reggiani

    (University of Bologna)

  • Roberto Patuelli

    (George Mason University)

  • Andy Gillespie

    (University of Newcastle)

  • Peter Nijkamp

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Jonathan Rutherford

    (University of Newcastle)


Many networks such as the Internet have been found to possess scale-free and small-world network properties reflected by so-called power law distributions. Scale-free properties evolve in large complex networks through self-organizing processes and more specifically, preferential attachment. New nodes in a network tend to attach themselves to other vertices that are already well-connected. Because traffic is routed mainly through a few highly connected and concentrated vertices, the diameter of the network is small in comparison to other network structures, and movement through the network is therefore efficient. At the same time, this efficiency feature puts scale-free networks at risk for becoming disconnected or significantly disrupted when super-connected nodes are removed either unintentionally or through a targeted attack or external force. The present paper will examine and compare properties of telecommunications networks for both the United States and Europe. Both types of networks will be examined in terms of their network topology and specifically whether or not they are scale-free networks to be further explored by identifying and plotting power law distributions. Next, economic, political and cultural factors may be used to explain differences in network structures between the United States and Europe. In addition, the paper will identify data and modeling tools that are needed to facilitate further cross-Atlantic comparative studies of communications networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 04-118/3.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20040118

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Keywords: complex networks; telecommunications; power law distributions; exponential distributions; Europe and US;

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  1. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
  2. Tae Hoon Oum & Anming Zhang & Yimin Zhang, 1995. "Airline Network Rivalry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 836-57, November.
  3. Wojahn, Oliver W., 2001. "Airline network structure and the gravity model," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 267-279, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Stephanos Karagiannis & Dimitrios Apostolou, 2010. "Regional Tourism Development using Linear Programming and Vector Analysis," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 25-32, June.
  2. Laurie Schintler & Rajendra Kulkarni & Sean Gorman & Roger Stough, 2007. "Using Raster-Based GIS and Graph Theory to Analyze Complex Networks," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 301-313, December.
  3. Evis Kushi & Enkela Caca, 2010. "Some Problems of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Albanian Holiday Hotels," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 63-70, June.
  4. Emmanouil Tranos & Peter Nijkamp, 2012. "The Death of Distance Revisited: Cyberplace, Physical and Relational Proximities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Emmanouil Tranos & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Digital Infrastructure and Physical Proximity," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-172/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Stilianos Alexiadis, 2010. "Interregional Differences in Adoptive Abilities: An Alternative Framework," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 41-52, June.
  7. Antoneta Polo, 2010. "Globalism - the important factor of the life of the countries of the region in general and of Albania in particular," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 33-40, June.
  8. Georgios Karras, 2010. "REGIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH AND CONVERGENCE, 1950-2007: Some Empirical Evidence," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 11-24, June.
  9. Rudiger Hamm, 2010. "Some Supplementary Regional Economic Effects of a Premier League Soccer Club: Theoretical and empirical Considerations beyond Regional Multiplier Analysis," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 53-62, June.
  10. Emmanouil Tranos & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "The Death Of Distance Revisited: Cyber-Place, Physical And Relational Proximities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 855-873, December.
  11. Stavros Rodokanakis & Irini Moustaki, 2010. "Evaluating the risk of unemployment: Comparison between the two most populated Greek regions with the entire country," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(1), pages 71-94, June.
  12. Sheu Chen, 2010. "A Heuristic Algorithm for Hierarchical Hub-and-spoke Network of Time-definite Common Carrier Operation Planning Problem," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 509-523, December.


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