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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sgroi, D., 2006. "Social Network Theory, Broadband and the World Wide Web," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0603, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0603 Note: IO
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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe0603.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Narine Badasyan & Subhadip Chakrabarti, 2003. "Private Peering Among Internet Backbone Providers," Industrial Organization 0301002, EconWPA, revised 20 Jan 2003.
    2. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
    3. Sanjeev Goyal & Marco J. van der Leij & José Luis Moraga-Gonzalez, 2006. "Economics: An Emerging Small World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 403-432.
    4. Gabrielle Demange & Wooders Myrna, 2005. "Group Formation in Economics: Networks, Clubs and Coalitions," Post-Print halshs-00576778, HAL.
    5. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation

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