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New Publication from DUT in Nature Communications

Jul 23, 2020 

Source:School of Economics and Management

By Li Xiang, Xia Haoxiang


Professor Xia Haoxiang’s team from the School of Economics and Management and the Research Center for Big Data and Intelligent Decision-Making of DUT recently published their work entitled “Modular gateway-ness connectivity and structural core organization in maritime network science” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16619-5) in Nature Communications in collaboration with Dr. Carlo Cannistraci's team from Dresden University of Technology, reporting their findings on the structural characteristics of the global liner shipping network.



It is of great importance to establish the better understanding on the maritime transportation system for both academia and policy-making, since around 80% of global trade by volume is transported by sea, and thus the maritime transportation system is fundamental to the world economy. To this end, the two teams collaboratively investigated the structural properties of the global liner shipping network (GLSN), finding that it is an economic small-world network with a trade-off between high transportation efficiency and low wiring cost. Furthermore, the mode of local segregation and global integration was examined by using three respective structural measures. In particular, with a new gateway-hub measure being introduced, their work reveals a distinctive structural-core structure of the investigated network that endogenously evolves into the backbone of the global maritime cargo transportation system. This finding offers new insights into the GLSN’s structural organization complexity and its relevance to the international trade. From network science point of view, this investigation also sheds light on the efficient and robust organization of real-world complex networks.


Figure 1.Multiscale modular communities in the GLSN.


Figure 2.Representation of the GLSN and its structural core in the hyperbolic space.


Nature Communications, as a Nature-branded academic journal under Springer Nature Publishing Group, is one of the leading journals on multidisciplinary sciences. It publishes high-quality researches across all areas of natural sciences and quantitative social sciences. In the latest release of Clarivate Inc.’s JCR Report of Web of Science, its impact factor is 11.878, ranked the fifth in the category of multidisciplinary-science journals.


This work was co-directed by Prof. Xia and Dr. Cannistraci. Prof. Xia’s research team initiated the overall research project and developed the key concept of segregation-integration in the context of the global liner shipping network. Dr. Cannistraci’s team played a critical role in analyzing the GLSN in the hyperbolic space, as an important technical part of the paper. Dr. Xu Mengqiao, post-doc at Prof. Xia’s group, suggested the gateway-hubness measure for the GLSN, while PhD student Pan Qian, also from Xia’s group, did a great part of research in the computational data analytics on the network properties. The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants Nos. 71871042, 71533001, and 71421001, respectively.


Editor: Li Xiang