Brief Communications

Nature 401, 130-131 (9 September 1999) | doi:10.1038/43601

Internet: Diameter of the World-Wide Web

Réka Albert1, Hawoong Jeong1 & Albert-László Barabási1

Despite its increasing role in communication, the World-Wide Web remains uncontrolled: any individual or institution can create a website with any number of documents and links. This unregulated growth leads to a huge and complex web, which becomes a large directed graph whose vertices are documents and whose edges are links (URLs) that point from one document to another. The topology of this graph determines the web's connectivity and consequently how effectively we can locate information on it. But its enormous size (estimated to be at least 8times108 documents1) and the continual changing of documents and links make it impossible to catalogue all the vertices and edges.

  1. Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA

Correspondence to: Albert-László Barabási1 e-mail: Email: