Hidden Order in the Web

Lada Adamic
XEROX PARC & Stanford University


Despite its seemingly random growth, the web exhibits a number of strong regularities. For example, the number of users, pages, and links found on a particular site is distributed according to a power law - few sites have very large numbers of users, pages, and links, and the vast majority of sites have only a few. There is a simple and intuitive mechanism which produces such large discrepancies. In part due to the uneven link distribution, the web exhibits a small world phenomenon, where web sites are separated by only a few hops. Another regularity, which we call the "law of surfing" governs the depth to which a user explores a website. Finally I'll describe a mechanism to optimize web download times based on our observations of internet traffic patterns.


Lada Adamic was awarded a B.S. degrees in Physics and Engineering and Applied Science from Caltech in 1997. Since then she is a graduate student in the Applied Physics Department at Stanford and working together with Bernardo Huberman at the Internet Ecologies Group at PARC.
Her research interests are identifying patterns on the web and formulating models which generate these patterns.