Exploring the network structure and nodal centrality of China's air transport network: A complex network approach

This paper uses a complex network approach to examine the network structure and nodal centrality of individual cities in the air transport network of China (ATNC). Measures for overall network structure include degree distribution, average path length and clustering coefficient. Centrality metrics for individual cities are degree, closeness and betweenness, representing a node's location advantage as being directly connected to others, being accessible to others, and being the intermediary between others, respectively. Results indicate that the ATNC has a cumulative degree distribution captured by an exponential function, and displays some small-world (SW) network properties with an average path length of 2.23 and a clustering coefficient of 0.69. All three centrality indices are highly correlated with socio-economic indicators of cities such as air passenger volume, population, and gross regional domestic product (GRDP). This confirms that centrality captures a crucial aspect of location advantage in the ATNC and has important implications in shaping the spatial pattern of economic activities. Most small and low-degree airports are directly connected to the largest cities with the best centrality and bypass their regional centers, and therefore sub-networks in the ATNC are less developed except for Kunming in the southwest and Urumchi in the northwest because of their strategic locations for geographic and political reasons. The ANTC is relatively young, and not as efficient and well-developed as that of the US.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01344809
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2011 9:49AM