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Emergent topological and dynamical properties of a real inter-municipal commuting network - perspectives for policy-making and planning

Listed author(s):
  • Marc Barthélémy


  • Michele Campagna


  • Alessandro Chessa


  • Andrea De Montis


  • Alessandro Vespignani


Registered author(s):

    A variety of phenomena can be explained by means of a description of the features of their underlying network structure. In addition, a large number of scientists (see the reviews, eg. Barabasi, 2002; Watts, 2003) demonstrated the emergence of large-scale properties common to many different systems. These various results and studies led to what can be termed as the “new science of complex networks” and to emergence of the new “age of connectivity”. In the realms of urban and environmental planning, spatial analysis and regional science, many scientists have shown in the past years an increasing interest for the research developments on complex networks. Their studies range from theoretical statements on the need to apply complex network analysis to spatial phenomena (Salingaros, 2001) to empirical studies on quantitative research about urban space syntax (Jiang and Claramunt, 2004). Concerning transportation systems analysis, interesting results have been recently obtained on subway networks (Latora and Marchiori, 2002; Gastner and Newman, 2004) and airports (Barrat et al, 2004). In this paper, we study the inter-municipal commuting network of Sardinia (Italy). In this complex weighted network, the nodes correspond to urban centres while the weight of the links between two municipalities represents the flow of individuals between them. Following the analysis developed by Barrat et al. (2004), we investigate the topological and dynamical properties of this complex weighted network. The topology of this network can be accurately described by a regular small-world network while the traffic structure is very rich and reveals highly complex traffic patterns. Finally, in the perspective of policy-making and planning, we compare the emerging network behaviors with the geographical, social and demographical aspects of the transportation system.

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    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa05p607.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2005
    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p607
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    References listed on IDEAS
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    1. Barabási, Albert-László & Albert, Réka & Jeong, Hawoong, 2000. "Scale-free characteristics of random networks: the topology of the world-wide web," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 281(1), pages 69-77.
    2. Bin Jiang & Christophe Claramunt, 2004. "Topological analysis of urban street networks," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(1), pages 151-162, January.
    3. Dorogovtsev, S.N. & Mendes, J.F.F., 2003. "Evolution of Networks: From Biological Nets to the Internet and WWW," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198515906.
    4. R. Carcangiu & G. Sistu & S. Usai, 1999. "Struttura socio-economica dei comuni della Sardegna. Suggerimenti da un'analisi cluster," Working Paper CRENoS 199903, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    5. Sean P Gorman & Rajendra Kulkarni, 2004. "Spatial small worlds: new geographic patterns for an information economy," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(2), pages 273-296, March.
    6. Latora, Vito & Marchiori, Massimo, 2002. "Is the Boston subway a small-world network?," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 314(1), pages 109-113.
    7. Marchiori, Massimo & Latora, Vito, 2000. "Harmony in the small-world," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 285(3), pages 539-546.
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