Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Internet connectivity model

Don't ask me what k-shell decomposition is, but Carmi et al. (PDF here) perform an analysis of the internet using it to yield an interesting model of internet connectivity and a summary graphic. Analysis of this sort is also applied to brain networks. Their abstract, followed by the graphic:
We study a map of the Internet (at the autonomous systems level), by introducing and using the method of k-shell decomposition and the methods of percolation theory and fractal geometry, to find a model for the structure of the Internet. In particular, our analysis uses information on the connectivity of the network shells to separate, in a unique (no parameters) way, the Internet into three subcomponents: (i) a nucleus that is a small ({approx}100 nodes), very well connected globally distributed subgraph; (ii) a fractal subcomponent that is able to connect the bulk of the Internet without congesting the nucleus, with self-similar properties and critical exponents predicted from percolation theory; and (iii) dendrite-like structures, usually isolated nodes that are connected to the rest of the network through the nucleus only. We show that our method of decomposition is robust and provides insight into the underlying structure of the Internet and its functional consequences. Our approach of decomposing the network is general and also useful when studying other complex networks.

Visualization of our data of the Internet at the AS level. (Upper) A plot of all nodes, ordered by their k-shell indices, using the program of ref. 13. The legend to the left denotes degree, and the legend to the right denotes k-shell index. (Lower) A schematic plot of the suggested Medusa model decomposition of the AS level Internet into three components.

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