Experts note could make certain hubs targets for online terrorism
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/25/2013 -- The 'Kevin Bacon' effect has apparently been proven to be as prevalent online as in the collective recollection of those recalling movie stars and starlets., according to Hungarian physicists.
The phenomenon is not without its peril according to experts, as the effect could be used on attacking the web in general, with attacks on 'superconnecters' being an achilles heel for the entire online world.
Some may see the internet as nothing more than a random mass of information and websites holding information. However, researchers have found that the 'Kevin Bacon' effect, may be no more than 19 clicks for any two sets of information. The statistic echoes the famous 'Sex degrees of Kevin Bacon' game, which claims that anyone on earth can be linked to Kevin Bacon by way of six connections between persons.
'As the Web began to grow in the 1990s, it was thought that it most probably had the properties of a random network,' says Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási.
The researchers first had determined the phenomenon by constructing an algorithm that collected the links on a Web page, following those links to destinations, and repeating the process time and again.
The research was first published in Nature of 1999, and now has been expanded and published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
His team found that any page on the web can be linked to any other by less than 20 clicks, making the internet seem rather small overall. His claim is that the web's fast expansion yet small 'Kevin Bacon number' is due to the use of massive 'hubs' such as Google and social networks like Facebook.
“Such networks are in effect held together by a small number of highly connected hubs,” he writes.
“This scale-free property is an important organizing principle for the Web. 'Rather than virtually all nodes having more or less the same degree, we should expect a few nodes to be very highly connected, and the vast majority to have smaller degree than the average.”
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