A Mathematical Approach to the Study of the United States Code

Physica A, Vol. 389, 2010

6 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010 Last revised: 2 Aug 2012

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: March 25, 2010

Abstract

The United States Code (Code) is a document containing over 22 million words that represents a large and important source of Federal statutory law. Scholars and policy advocates often discuss the direction and magnitude of changes in various aspects of the Code. However, few have mathematically formalized the notions behind these discussions or directly measured the resulting representations. This paper addresses the current state of the literature in two ways. First, we formalize a representation of the United States Code as the union of a hierarchical network and a citation network over vertices containing the language of the Code. This representation reflects the fact that the Code is a hierarchically organized document containing language and explicit citations between provisions. Second, we use this formalization to measure aspects of the Code as codified in October 2008, November 2009, and March 2010. These measurements allow for a characterization of the actual changes in the Code over time. Our findings indicate that in the recent past, the Code has grown in its amount of structure, interdependence and language.

Keywords: United States Code, Hierarchical Network, Citation Network, Computational Linguistics, Information Retrieval, Computational Legal Studies, Physics and Society

JEL Classification: C63, C19, D72, D78, H10, H11, H50, K00, K20, L50

Suggested Citation

Bommarito, Michael James and Katz, Daniel Martin, A Mathematical Approach to the Study of the United States Code (March 25, 2010). Physica A, Vol. 389, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1578094

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/

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