InterJournal ????, 1920
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [1920]
Submission Date: 2006
Internet Relay Chat Networks as Complex Systems
Author(s): Murat Sensoy




In this study, properties of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks are analyzed in terms of complex network characteristics. Two different IRC communities are studied; freenode and unfirc. IRC channels in freenode are mostly dedicated to chatting, whereas IRC channels in unfirc are mostly dedicated to file sharing and warez. In this study, it is shown that those IRC networks have small-world property. Furthermore, degree distribution of freenode’s IRC user network and channel network is shown to follow power-law degree distribution. Even though degree distribution of unfirc’s IRC channel network follows power-law degree distribution, IRC user network of unfirc does not show power-law degree distribution, because of the nature of unfirc IRC community. IRC user networks can be regarded as a sort of social network. It is shown in the literature that social networks have small-world property and power-law degree distribution. The findings in this study confirm that IRC networks show complex network properties similar to the social networks.

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