Multiplicative Processes and City Sizes

  • Damián H. Zanette


In this contribution, I address the function of multiplicative stochastic processes in modelling the occurrence of power-law city size distributions. As an explanation of the result of Zipf’s rank analysis, Simon’s model is presented in a mathematically elementary way, with a thorough discussion of the involved hypotheses. Emphasis is put on the flexibility of the model, as to its possible extensions and the relaxation of some strong assumptions. I point out some open problems regarding the prediction of the detailed shape of Zipf’s rank plots, which may be tackled by means of such extensions.


Word Frequency Urban System Evolution Step Urban Settlement City Size 
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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg and Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio, Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damián H. Zanette
    • 1
  1. 1.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasCentro Atómico Bariloche and Instituto BalseiroBarilocheArgentina

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