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Diameter of the World-Wide Web


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 8×108 documents1) and the continual changing of documents and links make it impossible to catalogue all the vertices and edges.

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Figure 1: Distribution of links on the World-Wide Web.


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Correspondence to Albert-László Barabási.

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Albert, R., Jeong, H. & Barabási, AL. Diameter of the World-Wide Web. Nature 401, 130–131 (1999).

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