Week 8 Reading: Barabasi 80/20 Rule

Barabási, Albert-László. “The 80/20 Rule”

The 80/20 Rule: Vilfredo Pareto first discovered what is now known as the 80/20 rule as he noticed that 80 percent of his peas were produced by only 20 percent of the pea pod. This observation is now considered a ‘Murphy’s Law of management’. For example, 80 percent of decisions are made during 20 percent of meeting time, 80 percent of the population receive 20 percent of the overall income etc. Few large events carry most of the action.

When mapping the networks of the web, it was discovered that the distribution of links followed the mathematical expression called the power law. Peaked distribution – a bell curve. A power law is the opposite of a bell curve. A histogram following a power law is a continuously decreasing curve, implying that many small events coexist with a few large events.

Random networks: ie. City road map (organised structure leading to few main highways)
Power Law: Aeroplane route (a few hubs link many airports)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>