Title: Mapping the hierarchical structure of the global shipping network by weighted ego network analysis

Authors: Chengliang Liu; Jiaqi Wang; Hong Zhang; Meiyuan Yin

Addresses: School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, 3663 North Zhongshan Rd., Shanghai, China ' Faculty of Resources and Environmental Science, Hubei University, 368, Youyi Ave., Wuhan, China ' Faculty of Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, 111 North Section 1, Second Ring Rd., Chengdu, China ' School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, 3663, North Zhongshan Rd., Shanghai, China

Abstract: An improved complex network approach named weighted ego network analysis (WENA) was employed to explore the hierarchical structure of the global shipping network. First, it was found that all centrality indices exhibited scale-free properties with obvious power-law distributions. That is, less than 30% of shipping ports had quite high centrality values, which are powerful hubs of the global shipping system. Those very accessible shipping ports showed significant preferential attachment properties such as 'rich-club' and 'Matthew' effect. Second, results of WENA revealed its core-peripheral hierarchical structure, which could be divided into five levels of sub-networks: first tier (top 5%), second tier (top 5%~15%), third tier (top 15%~30%), fourth tier (top 30%~50%), and fifth tier (the remainder). Finally, five kinds of correlation analyses have been carried out, including degree vs. degree, degree vs. strength, degree vs. clustering coefficient, degree vs. distance and centrality vs. GDP. Results indicated that the connectivity of a shipping port was both significantly influenced by the connectivity of its directly connected ports, the shipping distance and hinterland economic scale.

Keywords: hierarchical structure; global shipping network; scale-free property; weighted ego network analysis; WENA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2018.088323

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2018 Vol.10 No.1, pp.63 - 86

Accepted: 12 Dec 2016
Published online: 19 Oct 2017 *

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