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John
Maybe you find this one helpful:
Zipf, Power-laws, and Pareto - a ranking tutorial
http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/idl/papers/ranking/ranking.html

jana

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of John McCreery
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 7:37 PM
Subject: Power Laws and Other Degree Distributions

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As I prepare my presentation for Sunbelt, I am checking the networks my data
reveal for the kinds of properties that I read about in sources that include
Newman, Barabási, and Watts (2006), The Structure and Dynamics of Networks.

1. Giant components?  Check
2. Giant bicomponents that approach the size of the giant components?
Check?
3. Right-skewed degree distributions? Check

But then I read, in the introduction to Chapter 3, a discussion of Amaral,
et. al. (2000), a paper that examines five networks and discovers that none
have power-law degree distributions.

Instead, all of them are right-skewed but with non-power-law distributions:
> the power grid and air traffic networks have exponential distributions,
the
> high school and Mormon networks have Gaussian distributions, and the movie
> actor network has an exponentially truncated power-law distribution.

Here my mathematical ignorance blocks further understanding. I want to know
how to do the calculations to determine which kind of distributions best fit
my data. My rapid survey of Wikipedia articles on power laws, O
descriptions, that sort of thing, leaves me with the impression that this is
a black art; but, I suspect, I am missing something.

Can anyone here direct me to a curve-fitting for dummies primer that will
shed some light on my problem or some smart person who already knows how to
do this sort of thing?

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324
http://www.wordworks.jp/

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