Power Laws and the Drug War

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Power Laws and the Drug War

Post  Kevin Chu on Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:36 am

http://projects.latimes.com/mexico-drug-war/#/interactive-map

The link above is to an interactive map that displays the number of deaths in an area of Mexico connected to the drug trade. What's interesting is to note the distribution of deaths, with a very high amount of deaths in Chihuahua and Baja. These deaths almost follow a power law distribution, because there a few very large circles (the larger the circle, the more related deaths), and a lot of smaller ones. What's more interesting is that if you plot the distance of these deaths from an arbitrary point, I would bet that a plot of these distances would form somewhat of a power log graph. This is a very interesting representation of human behavior and how it follows the power law in distribution.

Kevin Chu

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Network structure

Post  Lalith Polepeddi on Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:59 am

If there is a significant correlation between number of deaths in a region and drug trade, it could be useful to identify the nodes in the drug trade network using deaths as a proxy metric. After Dr Hartline’s epilogue lecture today, understanding the global structure of networks helps us decide how to take action, specifically for officials to focus on these nodes of activity.

Lalith Polepeddi

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