Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1502927
 
 

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Properties of the United States Code Citation Network


Michael James Bommarito II


Bommarito Consulting, LLC

Daniel Martin Katz


Michigan State University - College of Law

November 9, 2009


Abstract:     
The United States Code (Code) is an important source of Federal law that is produced by the interactions of many heterogeneous actors in a complex, dynamic space. The Code can be represented as the union of a hierarchical network and a citation network over the vertices representing the language of the Code. In this paper, we investigate the properties of the Code’s citation network by examining the directed degree distributions of the network. We find that the power-law model is a plausible fit for the outdegree distribution but not for the indegree distribution. In order to better understand this result, we construct a model with the assumption that the probability of citation is a per-word rate. We calculate the adjusted degree of each vertex under this model and study the directed adjusted degree distributions. These adjusted degree distributions indicate that both the adjusted indegree and outdegree distributions seems to follow a log-normal form, not a power-law form. Our findings indicate that the power-law is not generally applicable to degree distributions within the United States Code but that the distribution of degree per word is well-described by a log-normal model.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 4

Keywords: United States Code, Citation Network, Computational Legal Studies, Skewed Distributions, Degree Distribution, Power Laws

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Date posted: November 10, 2009 ; Last revised: March 24, 2010

Suggested Citation

Bommarito, Michael James and Katz, Daniel Martin, Properties of the United States Code Citation Network (November 9, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1502927 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1502927

Contact Information

Michael James Bommarito II
Bommarito Consulting, LLC ( email )
Troy, MI 48098
United States
16464503387 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://bommaritollc.com/
Daniel Martin Katz (Contact Author)
Michigan State University - College of Law ( email )
230F Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States
HOME PAGE: http://computationallegalstudies.com/
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