Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Properties of the United States Code Citation Network

4 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2009 Last revised: 24 Mar 2010

Michael James Bommarito II

LexPredict, LLC; Bommarito Consulting, LLC; Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology; Michigan State College of Law

Daniel Martin Katz

Illinois Tech - Chicago Kent College of Law

Date Written: 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.

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

Suggested Citation

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

Michael James Bommarito II

LexPredict, LLC ( email )

MI
United States

HOME PAGE: http://lexpredict.com

Bommarito Consulting, LLC ( email )

MI 48098
United States

HOME PAGE: http://bommaritollc.com

Chicago-Kent College of Law - Illinois Institute of Technology ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

Michigan State College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

Daniel Martin Katz (Contact Author)

Illinois Tech - Chicago Kent College of Law ( email )

565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60661-3691
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danielmartinkatz.com/

Paper statistics

Downloads
240
Rank
106,410
Abstract Views
1,866