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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Close or Far, Fractal Networks Look the Same
Many complex networks, from the Internet to proteins interacting with other ones in a cell, or from actors having played together to Romanesque broccoli, have "a common architecture with snowflakes and trees." And even more surprisingly, Science News reports that "these networks all display similar patterns, whether viewed from up close or far away."

In fact, all these networks are scale-free networks. Like the airline system, they contain hubs -- nodes with a very high number of links. In such networks, the distribution of node linkages follows a power law in that most nodes have just a few connections and some have a tremendous number of links. In that sense, the system has no "scale."

The fact that these complex networks can show such a fractal pattern has important implications for a host of applications, from drug development to Internet security. This overview contains other details, references and spectacular images of complex networks.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 6:57 AM Comments (0)
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