Radial Structure of the Internet

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CitationProceedings of Royal Academy A 463:1231-1246 (2007)
AuthorsPetter Holme
Josh Karlin
Staphanie Forrest


The structure of the Internet at the autonomous system (AS) level has been studied by the physics, mathematics and computer science communities. We extend this work to include features of the core and the periphery, taking a radial perspective on AS network structure. New methods for plotting AS data are described, and they are used to analyse datasets that have been extended to contain edges missing from earlier collections. The average distance from one vertex to the rest of the network is used as the baseline metric for investigating radial structure.Common vertex-specific quantities are plotted against this metric to reveal distinctive characteristics of central and peripheral vertices. Two datasets are analysed using these measures as well as two common generative models (Barabasi-Albert and Inet). We find a clear distinction between the highly connected core and a sparse periphery. We also find that the periphery has a more complex structure than that predicted by degree distribution or the two generative models.

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