The evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network through the lens of complex networks, 1979–2012

This paper presents a novel approach to investigating and understanding the evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network (SAAN) over the period 1979–2012. The authors' approach captures the main topological and spatial changes from a complex network perspective. They find that the SAAN combines a relatively stable topological structure with a changing multilayered geographical structure. Statistical analysis indicates that the SAAN is a scale-free network with an increasing number of hub cities and has been characterized by small-world properties since 1996. Furthermore, the SAAN exhibits a recently intensified disassortative mixing pattern, suggesting an increasing dependence of small cities on hub-and-spoke configuration for better accessibility. A decomposition analysis is used to disaggregate the SAAN into a hierarchical core-bridge-periphery structure. The core layer consists of capital cities, the most economic vibrant secondary cities, and tourist destinations. This core layer is also densely interconnected with its center of gravity moving towards the north. The periphery layer, comprised of cities in remote areas, sustains a low significance with declining internal connectivity despite a rising number of cities being connected. The bridge layer lies in between both extremes, and is characterized by a high volatility over time. The connections and passengers between different layers increase, especially those between core and bridge after 1996. In their discussion, the authors trace these changes back to a series of socio-economic and politico-institutional dynamics in Southeast Asia.


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  • Accession Number: 01670480
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2018 5:04PM