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Question: What exactly is the 'Diameter of the Internet'?

I heard someone talking about the "Diameter of the Internet" recently. I understand finding the diameter of a circle; it's just the distance across its widest point.

But what is the diameter of the internet, and how do you measure it?

Answer

Have you ever played the game "Six Degrees Of Separation"? You start out with a person (often a movie star), and then see if you can relate them to another movie star in six or less connections. For example, how would you connect Julia Roberts to Sean Connery?

Well, Julia Roberts starred with Richard Gere in "Pretty Woman", and Richard Gere starred with Sean Connery in "First Knight". That's two degrees right there.

The internet diameter is similar. How many degrees of separation are there between any two randomly selected web pages? How many clicks does it take to get from one web page to another? Researchers have done studies and calculations to try to determine the answer to this question, and the average "distance" in clicks between any two web pages is known as the diameter of the web.

As of the turn of the millenium, the diameter of the internet was approximately 19 clicks.

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