A Network Analysis of Food Flows within the United States of America

Xiaowen Lin, Qian Dang, Megan Konar

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

The world food system is globalized and interconnected, in which trade plays an increasingly important role in facilitating food availability. We present a novel application of network analysis to domestic food flows within the USA, a country with global importance as a major agricultural producer and trade power. We find normal node degree distributions and Weibull node strength and betweenness centrality distributions. An unassortative network structure with high clustering coefficients exists. These network properties indicate that the USA food flow network is highly social and well-mixed. However, a power law relationship between node betweenness centrality and node degree indicates potential network vulnerability to the disturbance of key nodes. We perform an equality analysis which serves as a benchmark for global food trade, where the Gini coefficient = 0.579, Lorenz asymmetry coefficient = 0.966, and Hoover index = 0.442. These findings shed insight into trade network scaling and proxy free trade and equitable network architectures.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages5439-5447
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume48
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 20 2014

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network analysis
food
Electric network analysis
distribution
free trade
food availability
asymmetry
power law
vulnerability
disturbance
analysis
world
index
Network architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

A Network Analysis of Food Flows within the United States of America. / Lin, Xiaowen; Dang, Qian; Konar, Megan.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 48, No. 10, 20.05.2014, p. 5439-5447.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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