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The evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network through the lens of complex networks, 1979–2012

Liang Dai (UGent) , Ben Derudder (UGent) and Xingjian Liu
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Abstract
This paper presents a novel approach to investigating and understanding the evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network (SAAN) over the period 1979-2012. Our approach captures the main topological and spatial changes from a complex network perspective. We find that the SAAN combines a relatively stable topological structure with a changing multilayered geographical structure. Statistical analysis indicates that the SAAN is a scale-free network with an increasing number of hub cities and has been characterized by small-world properties since 1996. Furthermore, the SAAN exhibits a recently intensified disassortative mixing pattern, suggesting an increasing dependence of small cities on hub-and-spoke configuration for better accessibility. A decomposition analysis is used to disaggregate the SAAN into a hierarchical core-bridge-periphery structure. The core layer consists of capital cities, the most economic vibrant secondary cities, and tourist destinations. This core layer is also densely interconnected with its center of gravity moving towards the north. The periphery layer, comprised of cities in remote areas, sustains a low significance with declining internal connectivity despite a rising number of cities being connected. The bridge layer lies in between both extremes, and is characterized by a high volatility over time. The connections and passengers between different layers increase, especially those between core and bridge after 1996. In our discussion, we trace these changes back to a series of socio-economic and politico-institutional dynamics in Southeast Asia.
Keywords
Complex network, Air network, Topology, Multilayered structure, Southeast Asia, AIRPORT NETWORK, CITY NETWORKS, EVOLUTION, CHINA, AVIATION, REGIONALISM, GEOGRAPHIES, CENTRALITY, AIRLINES, TOPOLOGY

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Dai, Liang, Ben Derudder, and Xingjian Liu. 2018. “The Evolving Structure of the Southeast Asian Air Transport Network Through the Lens of Complex Networks, 1979–2012.” Journal of Transport Geography 68: 67–77.
APA
Dai, L., Derudder, B., & Liu, X. (2018). The evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network through the lens of complex networks, 1979–2012. JOURNAL OF TRANSPORT GEOGRAPHY, 68, 67–77.
Vancouver
1.
Dai L, Derudder B, Liu X. The evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network through the lens of complex networks, 1979–2012. JOURNAL OF TRANSPORT GEOGRAPHY. 2018;68:67–77.
MLA
Dai, Liang, Ben Derudder, and Xingjian Liu. “The Evolving Structure of the Southeast Asian Air Transport Network Through the Lens of Complex Networks, 1979–2012.” JOURNAL OF TRANSPORT GEOGRAPHY 68 (2018): 67–77. Print.
@article{8553767,
  abstract     = {This paper presents a novel approach to investigating and understanding the evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network (SAAN) over the period 1979-2012. Our approach captures the main topological and spatial changes from a complex network perspective. We find that the SAAN combines a relatively stable topological structure with a changing multilayered geographical structure. Statistical analysis indicates that the SAAN is a scale-free network with an increasing number of hub cities and has been characterized by small-world properties since 1996. Furthermore, the SAAN exhibits a recently intensified disassortative mixing pattern, suggesting an increasing dependence of small cities on hub-and-spoke configuration for better accessibility. A decomposition analysis is used to disaggregate the SAAN into a hierarchical core-bridge-periphery structure. The core layer consists of capital cities, the most economic vibrant secondary cities, and tourist destinations. This core layer is also densely interconnected with its center of gravity moving towards the north. The periphery layer, comprised of cities in remote areas, sustains a low significance with declining internal connectivity despite a rising number of cities being connected. The bridge layer lies in between both extremes, and is characterized by a high volatility over time. The connections and passengers between different layers increase, especially those between core and bridge after 1996. In our discussion, we trace these changes back to a series of socio-economic and politico-institutional dynamics in Southeast Asia.},
  author       = {Dai, Liang and Derudder, Ben and Liu, Xingjian},
  issn         = {0966-6923},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF TRANSPORT GEOGRAPHY},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {67--77},
  title        = {The evolving structure of the Southeast Asian air transport network through the lens of complex networks, 1979--2012},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2018.02.010},
  volume       = {68},
  year         = {2018},
}

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