Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

The researchers then used a novel hierarchical approach to map the connectivity data, taking into account how the nodes are connected. Each node was assessed based on how well connected it was to other nodes that are better connected.

Most previous research efforts only considered the number of connections as an indicator of the importance of a node without factoring in where those nodes lead, says Carmi. But taking this new approach, known as a k-shell model, allows for dead-end connections to be discounted, since they play a lesser role in the connectivity of the Internet.

Seth Bullock, a computer scientist at University of Southampton who studies network complexity and natural systems, finds it encouraging to see people taking a more sophisticated approach to modeling network structures, which are often quite crude.

But, Bullock warns, although there are potential benefits to improving the efficiency of the Internet using peer-to-peer networks, letting peer-to-peer networks grow in an unconstrained way could just as easily result in the creation of more congestion. For example, there would be nothing to prevent them from channeling data through the same nodes, thereby creating congestion elsewhere. Even so, there is currently a lot of interest in trying to figure out how to improve the Internet in the future; revealing its structure should help this process, says Kirkpatrick.

12 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Lanet-vi program of I. Alvarez-Hamelin et al.

Tagged: Communications, Internet, networks, mapping, Israel

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me