Possible origin of efficient navigation in small worlds

Yanqing Hu, Yougui Wang, Daqing Li, Shlomo Havlin, Zengru Di

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The small-world phenomenon is one of the most important properties found in social networks. It includes both short path lengths and efficient navigation between two individuals. It is found by Kleinberg that navigation is efficient only if the probability density distribution of an individual to have a friend at distance r scales as P(r)∼r-1. Although this spatial scaling is found in many empirical studies, the origin of how this scaling emerges is still missing. In this Letter, we propose the origin of this scaling law using the concept of entropy from statistical physics and show that this scaling is the result of optimization of collecting information in social networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108701
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - 9 Mar 2011


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