Dinghies Clustered Around Dock

Jason Kottke, Weblog, Apr 15, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Oh I love this photo, because it's a classic example of dynamic network formation. A person wants to tie a dinghy to a dock. Eventually, the dock gets too full, and they have to tie up to other dinghies. This creates a selection process where people favour dinghies connected to the dock, and eventually, to each other. Dinghies connected to each other form the network. We can analyze the network in terms of which dinghy is connected to which dinghy, and how many dinghies it takes to climb to the dock. Note the upper limit on scalability: because dinghies take up a certain number of space, only so many dinghies can be connected to a given dinghy. Thus, this is not a scale-free network, but one in which there is an upper limit to network connectivity.
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