Range-based attack on links in scale-free networks: Are long-range links responsible for the small-world phenomenon?

Adilson E. Motter, Takashi Nishikawa, Ying-Cheng Lai

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94 Citations (Scopus)


The small-world phenomenon in complex networks has been identified as being due to the presence of long-range links, i.e., links connecting nodes that would otherwise be separated by a long node-to-node distance. We find, surprisingly, that many scale-free networks are more sensitive to attacks on short-range than on long-range links. This result, besides its importance concerning network efficiency and/or security, has the striking implication that the small-world property of scale-free networks is mainly due to short-range links.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065103
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • random graphs
  • centrality
  • fragility
  • web

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