Asymmetric access to information impacts the power-law exponent in networks

17 Dec 2017  ·  Cao Zhenfeng, He Zhou, Johnson Neil F. ·

The preferential attachment (PA) process is a popular theory for explaining network power-law degree distributions. In PA, the probability that a new vertex adds an edge to an existing vertex depends on the connectivity of the target vertex... In real-world networks, however, each vertex may have asymmetric accessibility to information. Here we address this issue using a new network-generation mechanism that incorporates asymmetric accessibility to upstream and downstream information. We show that this asymmetric information accessibility directly affects the power-law exponent, producing a broad range of values that are consistent with observations. Our findings shed new light on the possible mechanisms in three important real-world networks: a citation network, a hyperlink network, and an online social network. read more

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Physics and Society Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems