Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The “small-world hypothesis” expresses the idea that every individual in a given population can reach every other via some “short” chain of intermediaries. This claim, however, has two related but distinct interpretations, which the author labels the “topological” and “algorithmic” small-world hypotheses: the former specifies only that two individuals in a large network be connected by a short path, whereas the latter requires in addition that the individuals in question be able to find such a path. In addition to defining both topological and algorithmic versions of the small-world hypothesis, the chapter briefly reviews the associated theoretical literature, as well as empirical evidence associated with each. Finally, the chapter concludes with some brief remarks about the economic implications of small-world properties as they arise in social and organizational networks.

Keywords: small-world problem, network science, social search, social networks

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.