Japanese Kanji characters are small-world connected through shared components

Mark Jeronimus, Sil Westerveld, Cees van Leeuwen, Sandjai Bhulai, Daan van den Berg

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


We investigate the connectivity within different incremental sets of Japanese Kanji characters. Individual characters constitute the vertices in the network, components shared between them provide their edges. We find the resulting networks to have a high clustering coefficient and a low average path length, characterizing them as small worlds. We examine the statistical significance of these findings and the role of the degree distributions. We review the evidence that the small-world topologies of these networks are due to the successive elimination of components in the writing system and discuss the implications of the results for language evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th International Conference on Data Analytics, Barcelona (Spain), November 12-16
EditorsSandjai Bhulai, Dimitris Kardaras
ISBN (Print)978-1-61208-603-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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