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Geometric origin of scaling in large traffic networks

Popović, Marko; Štefančić, Hrvoje; Zlatić, Vinko (2012) Geometric origin of scaling in large traffic networks. Physical Review Letters, 109 (20). pp. 208701-1. ISSN 0031-9007

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Large scale traffic networks are an indispensable part of contemporary human mobility and international trade. Networks of airport travel or cargo ships movements are invaluable for the understanding of human mobility patterns\cite{Guimera2005}, epidemic spreading\cite{Colizza2006}, global trade\cite{Imo2006} and spread of invasive species\cite{Ruiz2000}. Universal features of such networks are necessary ingredients of their description and can point to important mechanisms of their formation. Different studies\cite{Barthelemy2010} point to the universal character of some of the exponents measured in such networks. Here we show that exponents which relate i) the strength of nodes to their degree and ii) weights of links to degrees of nodes that they connect have a geometric origin. We present a simple robust model which exhibits the observed power laws and relates exponents to the dimensionality of 2D space in which traffic networks are embedded. The model is studied both analytically and in simulations and the conditions which result with previously reported exponents are clearly explained. We show that the relation between weight strength and degree is $s(k)\sim k^{3/2}$, the relation between distance strength and degree is $s^d(k)\sim k^{3/2}$ and the relation between weight of link and degrees of linked nodes is $w_{ij}\sim(k_ik_j)^{1/2}$ on the plane 2D surface. We further analyse the influence of spherical geometry, relevant for the whole planet, on exact values of these exponents. Our model predicts that these exponents should be found in future studies of port networks and impose constraints on more refined models of port networks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: power law scaling; transport complex networks; geometry
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics
Divisions: Theoretical Physics Division
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Forcasting Financial Crises - FoC IIVinko Zlatić255987FP7
Površine i nanostrukture: Teorijski pristupi i numerički proračuni[5180] Radovan Brako098-0352828-2863MZOS
Depositing User: Hrvoje Štefančić
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2013 11:28
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2014 15:10
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.208701

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