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Lecture 34

JOUR 601 Lecture 34: Network Connectivity

Course Code
JOUR 601
Robin Blom

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Network Connectivity:
One of the defining features to a network is its overall degree of connectivity, which might
qualify as THE defining feature
Going from a system with a low degree of connectivity to one with a high degree of
connectivity is not just a quantitative change in the number of edges within the network, it is
also a qualitative change
This marks a shift from a component based regime, where we first need to think about the
components of the system, to a relational based regime, where we need to first model how the
system is interconnected
One was of contextualizing the degree of connectivity to a network is by talking about how
easy or difficult it is for a node in the network to make a connection with another one because
the overall connectivity emerges out of the local actions of the nodes in a network
If we make it difficult for them to interact, then there will be a lower overall connectivity. We
can call this the ease of two nodes interacting or coupling parameter to the network.
If we take a logistics network, for example, we can ask under what circumstances are the nodes
more likely to interact.
In this case the nodes are producers and consumers and they will be more likely to interact as
the cost of transportation and trade restrictions are reduced.
The development of our global economy over the past decades can be sited as an example
through the reduction in trade tariffs and advancements in transportation and communication,
the ease of interaction between producers and distributers on a global level has increased.
This has resulted in the increased density of logistics and trade networks as regional and
national economies have become integrated into the global economy
One way to quantify the concept of the overall connectivity to a network is with reference to its
Density of a network: a ratio of the number of edges to the number of possible edges. This
correlates with the average degree of connectivity and nodes in the network.
When we increase our coupling parameter, we are increasing the density of the network and
the average degree of connectivity
This coupling parameter to a system can be defined by many things depending on the network
we are dealing with.
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