Luís A. Nunes Amaral

co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy (by courtesy)
Professor of Medicine (by courtesy)

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIL 60208US
Phone: (847) 491-7850


Watts and Strogatz [Nature (London) 393, 440 (1998)] have recently introduced a model for disordered networks and reported that, even for very small values of the disorder p in the links, the network behaves as a "small world." Here, we test the hypothesis that the appearance of small-world behavior is not a phase transition but a crossover phenomenon which depends both on the network size n and on the degree of disorder p. We propose that the average distance l between any two vertices of the network is a scaling function of n/n*. The crossover size n* above which the network behaves as a small world is shown to scale as n*(p much less than 1) similar to p(-tau) with tau approximate to 2/3.