Spatial heterogeneity of ports in the global maritime network detected by weighted ego network analysis

Authors: Chengliang Liu*, East China Normal University
Topics: Transportation Geography, Applied Geography, Regional Geography
Keywords: Global maritime network; spatial heterogeneity; hierarchical structure; weighted average centrality rank; weighted ego network analysis
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


To date, the importance of links and the roles of neighbors of a port has been ignored if not all. To fill this gap, this article introduced the approach of weighted ego network analysis (WENA) to visualize the spatial heterogeneity of ports in the maritime network at global and local levels. The topological connectivity graph of the global marine network was derived, and its structural properties were analyzed. It is found out that the values of the degree of ports follow power-law distribution, which indicates that the global marine network is scale-free, that is, there are few well- connected ports and a majority of less connected ports. The spatial disparities of the network can be described by a core–periphery pattern. In global, most of the hubs or ports with extremely high values of degree locate in the big-three maritime regions including Far East, North America, and West Europe. Along the peripheral belts of the three regions, there are lots of less connected small ports. A different hier- archical structure of six continents was captured by WENA. It is found that Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa showcase a pyramid-shaped hierarchical structure with a scale-free feature similar to the entire net- work, while South America and Oceania exhibit the fusiform hierarchy like small-world networks. It is proposed that such spatial inequality and heterogeneity were caused by the geographical environments such as the hub-and-spoke organization, the embedded trade pattern, and the proximity of location.

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