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Measuring hierarchical differentiation: connectivity and dominance in the European urban network

Nathalie Van Nuffel (UGent), Pieter Saey (UGent), Ben Derudder (UGent), Lomme Devriendt (UGent) and Frank Witlox (UGent)
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Abstract
This paper presents an examination of the empirical merits of a set of spatial interaction indices for measuring hierarchical differentiation (i.e. dominance and connectivity) in a spatial network. To allow for the comparison of the degree of hierarchical differentiation in networks with different numbers of nodes/links, we propose to normalize the ratio between the real measures and the corresponding values for a rank size distribution in order to obtain readily interpretable measures of hierarchical differentiation. When applied to data on air passenger flows within Europe, the normalized indices, interpreted together, appear to give a good idea of the tendency toward hierarchical differentiation. The potential usefulness of this analytical framework is discussed in the context of studies on (transnational) inter-city relations and empirical assessments of changes in the spatial configuration of airline networks.
Keywords
spatial interaction indices, airline networks, European urban network, hierarchical differentiation

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Chicago
Van Nuffel, Nathalie, Pieter Saey, Ben Derudder, Lomme Devriendt, and Frank Witlox. 2010. “Measuring Hierarchical Differentiation: Connectivity and Dominance in the European Urban Network.” Transportation Planning and Technology 33 (4): 343–366.
APA
Van Nuffel, N., Saey, P., Derudder, B., Devriendt, L., & Witlox, F. (2010). Measuring hierarchical differentiation: connectivity and dominance in the European urban network. TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND TECHNOLOGY, 33(4), 343–366.
Vancouver
1.
Van Nuffel N, Saey P, Derudder B, Devriendt L, Witlox F. Measuring hierarchical differentiation: connectivity and dominance in the European urban network. TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND TECHNOLOGY. 2010;33(4):343–66.
MLA
Van Nuffel, Nathalie, Pieter Saey, Ben Derudder, et al. “Measuring Hierarchical Differentiation: Connectivity and Dominance in the European Urban Network.” TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND TECHNOLOGY 33.4 (2010): 343–366. Print.
@article{1006502,
  abstract     = {This paper presents an examination of the empirical merits of a set of spatial interaction indices for measuring hierarchical differentiation (i.e. dominance and connectivity) in a spatial network. To allow for the comparison of the degree of hierarchical differentiation in networks with different numbers of nodes/links, we propose to normalize the ratio between the real measures and the corresponding values for a rank size distribution in order to obtain readily interpretable measures of hierarchical differentiation. When applied to data on air passenger flows within Europe, the normalized indices, interpreted together, appear to give a good idea of the tendency toward hierarchical differentiation. The potential usefulness of this analytical framework is discussed in the context of studies on (transnational) inter-city relations and empirical assessments of changes in the spatial configuration of airline networks.},
  author       = {Van Nuffel, Nathalie and Saey, Pieter and Derudder, Ben and Devriendt, Lomme and Witlox, Frank},
  issn         = {0308-1060},
  journal      = {TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND TECHNOLOGY},
  keyword      = {spatial interaction indices,airline networks,European urban network,hierarchical differentiation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {343--366},
  title        = {Measuring hierarchical differentiation: connectivity and dominance in the European urban network},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03081060.2010.494028},
  volume       = {33},
  year         = {2010},
}

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