Random-growth urban model with geographical fitness
This paper formulates a random-growth urban model with a notion of geographical fitness. Using techniques of complex-network theory, we study our system as a type of preferential-attachment model with fitness, and we analyze its macro behavior to clarify the properties of the city-size distributions it predicts. First, restricting the geographical fitness to take positive values and using a continuum approach, we show that the city-size distributions predicted by our model asymptotically approach Pareto distributions with coefficients greater than unity. Then, allowing the geographical fitness to take negative values, we perform local coefficient analysis to show that the predicted city-size distributions can deviate from Pareto distributions, as is often observed in actual city-size distributions. As a result, the model we propose can generate a generic class of city-size distributions, including but not limited to Pareto distributions. For applications to city-population projections, our simple model requires randomness only when new cities are created, not during their subsequent growth. This property leads to smooth trajectories of city population growth, in contrast to other models using Gibrat’s law. In addition, a discrete form of our dynamical equations can be used to estimate past city populations based on present-day data; this fact allows quantitative assessment of the performance of our model. Further study is needed to determine appropriate formulas for the geographical fitness.
Volume (Year): 391 (2012)
Issue (Month): 23 ()
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