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Graph Theory in the Geosciences


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Phillips, Jonathan D. ; Schwanghart, Wolfgang ; Heckmann, Tobias:
Graph Theory in the Geosciences.
In: Earth-Science Reviews. Bd. 143 (2015). - S. 147-160.
ISSN 0012-8252


Graph theory has long been used in quantitative geography and landscape ecology and has been applied in Earth and atmospheric sciences for several decades. Recently, however, there have been increased, and more sophisticated, applications of graph theory concepts and methods in geosciences, principally in three areas: spatially explicit modeling, small-world networks, and structural models of Earth surface systems. This paper reviews the contrasting goals and methods inherent in these approaches, but focuses on the common elements, to develop a synthetic view of graph theory in the geosciences. Techniques applied in geosciences are mainly of three types: connectivity measures of entire networks; metrics of various aspects of the importance or influence of particular nodes, links, or regions of the network; and indicators of system dynamics based on graph adjacency matrices. Geoscience applications of graph theory can be grouped in five general categories: (1) Quantification of complex network properties such as connectivity, centrality, and clustering; (2) Tests for evidence of particular types of structures that have implications for system behavior, such as small-world or scale-free networks; (3) Testing dynamical system properties, e.g., complexity, coherence, stability, synchronization, and vulnerability; (4) Identification of dynamics from historical records or time series; and (5) spatial analysis. Recent and future expansion of graph theory in geosciences is related to general growth of network-based approaches. However, several factors make graph theory especially well suited to the geosciences: Inherent complexity, exploration of very large data sets, focus on spatial fluxes and interactions, and increasing attention to state transitions are all amenable to analysis using graph theory approaches.

Weitere Angaben

Institutionen der Universität:Mathematisch-Geographische Fakultät > Geographie > Lehrstuhl für Physische Geographie
DOI / URN / ID:10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.02.002
Titel an der KU entstanden:Ja
Eingestellt am:23. Feb 2015 14:07
Letzte Änderung:21. Jun 2016 10:04
URL zu dieser Anzeige:http://edoc.ku-eichstaett.de/15278/