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Agent-based model for the h-index – exact solution


Hirsch’s h-index is perhaps the most popular citation-based measure of scientific excellence. In 2013, Ionescu and Chopard proposed an agent-based model describing a process for generating publications and citations in an abstract scientific community [G. Ionescu, B. Chopard, Eur. Phys. J. B 86, 426 (2013)]. Within such a framework, one may simulate a scientist’s activity, and – by extension – investigate the whole community of researchers. Even though the Ionescu and Chopard model predicts the h-index quite well, the authors provided a solution based solely on simulations. In this paper, we complete their results with exact, analytic formulas. What is more, by considering a simplified version of the Ionescu-Chopard model, we obtained a compact, easy to compute formula for the h-index. The derived approximate and exact solutions are investigated on a simulated and real-world data sets.


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Correspondence to Grzegorz Siudem.

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Żogała-Siudem, B., Siudem, G., Cena, A. et al. Agent-based model for the h-index – exact solution. Eur. Phys. J. B 89, 21 (2016).

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  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics