Graph Theory and Links

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Mark Bernstein in this post asks

I’m assembling a Fagerjordian (link in original) site — a Web site that has lots of topical pages that are linked together, from topic to topic. There’s no Big Scheme and no apparatus — the site is organic and complex, so there’s not a simple site map or table of contents or grand ontology into which everything fits.

We’re adding new pages every day, and I expect this to continue for some time.

Now, if you’re managing a project like this, you want to be sure that every page has links from other pages, so people can find it. One heuristic for management is simply to insist on lots of links: if every page has a bunch of links to different places, then it’s likely that readers will be able to move around freely.

But, how many links is ‘a lot of links’? I think the answer is between 3 and 4, but I’m not certain.

I’m wondering if there’s a comprehensive relevancy standard that applies here rather than a digraph model. Or to put it another way: one answer is to break the digraph with links.

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