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Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks

Science  15 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5439, pp. 509-512
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5439.509

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Abstract

Systems as diverse as genetic networks or the World Wide Web are best described as networks with complex topology. A common property of many large networks is that the vertex connectivities follow a scale-free power-law distribution. This feature was found to be a consequence of two generic mechanisms: (i) networks expand continuously by the addition of new vertices, and (ii) new vertices attach preferentially to sites that are already well connected. A model based on these two ingredients reproduces the observed stationary scale-free distributions, which indicates that the development of large networks is governed by robust self-organizing phenomena that go beyond the particulars of the individual systems.

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