OSTIblog Articles in the bettencourt Topic
Why might the critical-point behavior of coauthorship networks be universal? The symmetry group of the associated concept space
by Dr. William Watson 02 Feb, 2010 in Products and Content
In December 2008, Luis Bettencourt and David Kaiser reported their findings from studies of research collaboration networks, which included their discovery that, as coauthorship networks in a particular field reach the point of forming a single giant component of interconnected authors that dwarfs all other coauthor groups in that field, the growth near that point depends in a universal way on the average number <k> of coauthors per author. In particular, the fraction of coauthor links that belong to the giant component appears to be proportional to (<k> - kc)0.35, where kc, which marks the critical point, depends on the research field. The remarkable fact is that the exponent, 0.35, fits the data for networks in several quite distinct fields. This value apparently isn’t common to networks in general, though. I had wondered what features of a network do determine the exponent’s value.