Does a network have a centre?

This was one of the questions explored in week eight’s symposium. Jasmine said ‘no,’ reasoning that networks function on group behaviours and relations between parts. In this way, we are the centre of our networks because they are based on our decisions and connections. Adrian made a link to the week’s readings which explored scale free networks. Importantly (and logically) he noted that scale free networks cannot be scale free if there is a centre or anything resembling a hierarchy. Instead, these networks continually grow and shape emerges. Adrian compared the Internet and railroads. The Internet is an example of a scale free network, a railroad isn’t. The shape of a railroad needs to be planned in advance or it simply won’t function. In saying this, even though there is no ‘architect’ or planning involved in the structure of the internet, random connections do create structure. This is disproving previous models which suggest all networks need a hub. These models reflect traditional societal models based on hierarchy or status.

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  1. More Richness | Networked Media

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