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A Positive Theory of Network Connectivity

Author

Listed:
  • David Levinson

    ()

  • Arthur Huang

    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

This paper develops a positive theory of network connectivity, seeking to explain the micro-foundations of alternative network topologies as the result of self-interested actors. By building roads, landowners hope to increase their parcelsÕ accessibility and economic value. A simulation model is performed on a grid-like land use layer with a downtown in the center, whose structure resembles the early form of many Midwestern and Western (US) cities. The topological attributes for the networks are evaluated. This research posits that road networks experience an evolutionary process where a tree-like structure first emerges around the centered parcel before the network pushes outward to the periphery. In addition, road network topology undergoes clear phase changes as the economic values of parcels vary. The results demonstrate that even without a centralized authority, road networks have the property of self-organization and evolution, and, that in the absence of intervention, the tree-like or web-like nature of networks is a result of the underlying economics.

Suggested Citation

  • David Levinson & Arthur Huang, 2010. "A Positive Theory of Network Connectivity," Working Papers 000084, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:theoryofconnectivity
    as

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/180024
    File Function: Second version, 2012
    Download Restriction: no

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul Anderson & David Levinson & Pavithra Parthasarathi, 2011. "Accessibility Futures," Working Papers 000088, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Levinson, 2011. "Network Structure and City Size," Working Papers 000094, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    road network; land parcel; network evolution; network growth; phase change; centrality measures; degree centrality; closeness centrality; betweenness centrality; network structure; treeness; circuitness; topology;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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