In search of efficient network structures: the needle in the haystack
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Searching for efficient networks can prove a very difficult analytical and even computational task. In this paper, we explore the possibility of using the genetic algorithms (GA) technique to identify efficient network structures in the case of non-trivial payoff functions. The robustness of this method in predicting optimal networks is tested on the two simple stylized models introduced by Jackson and Wolinsky (1996), for which the efficient networks are known over the whole state space of the parameters’ values. This approach allows us to obtain new exploratory results in the case of the linear-spatialized connections model proposed by Johnson and Gilles (Rev Econ Des 5:273–299, 2000), for which the efficient allocation of bilateral connections is driven by contradictory forces that push either for a centralized structure around a coordinating agent, or for only locally and evenly distributed connections.
KeywordsNetworks Efficiency Genetic Algorithms
JEL ClassificationD85 C61
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