A hive plot
) is a beautiful and compelling way to visualize multiple, complex networks, without resorting to "hairball
" graphs that are often difficult to qualitatively compare and contrast. [more inside]
So you're me
and you're in math class
and you're learning about graph theory
, a subject
to be included in most grade school's curricula
so maybe you're in some special program
or maybe you're in college
and were somehow not scarred for life
by your grade school math teachers
. [more inside]
"the scale-free network modeing paradigm is largely inconsistent with the engineered nature of the Internet..."
For a decade it's been conventional wisdom that the Internet has a scale-free topology
, in which the number of links emanating from a site obeys a power law
. In other words, the Internet has a long tail
; compared with a completely random network, its structure is dominated by a few very highly connected nodes, while the rest of the web consists of a gigantic list of sites attached to hardly anything. Among its other effects, this makes the web highly vulnerable to epidemics.
The power law on the internet has inspired a vast array of research
by computer scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.
According to an article in this month's Notices of the American Math Society
, it's all wrong.
How could so many scientists make this kind of mistake? Statistician Cosma Shalizi
explains how people see power laws when they aren't there: "Abusing linear regression makes the baby Gauss cry."