Does Our World “weigh” Less Right Now? The Gravitational Pull in a Scientific Collaboration Network is Getting Weaker with Time

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Kelman, Guy
Levy, Moshe
Manes, Eran
Contributor
Advisor
Department
Instructor
Depositor
Speaker
Researcher
Consultant
Interviewer
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Volume
Number/Issue
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
Abstract
We study the geographical patterns of scientific collaboration from a large sample of research papers and letters written by two authors that appeared in the magazine Nature over two sub-periods, before and after the popularization of Internet use. We report three results: First, the distance distribution of co-authors is fat-tailed, in agreement with other studies that find gravitational law in collaboration networks. Second, in the later period the distance distribution dominates the range of commute-distance and beyond (>50km), which renders the city the atomic unit for statistical testing. Last, strong geographical clustering remains a major generative factor in this network. Assuming the universality of this law, we estimate the gravitational constant from the pull between scientists in the network. We find that this constant has decreased two-fold over the last three decades while the other coefficients remain stable. This may indicate that the gravitational constant absorbs changes in the environment that render distances easier to cross, namely a “lighter world”
Description
Keywords
Network Analysis of Digital and Social Media, communication networks, determining network processes, internet, network analysis with spatial layers
Citation
Extent
10 pages
Format
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Rights
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Rights Holder
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.