Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (2): 169-183.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201402003

Previous Articles     Next Articles

A novel method to approximate intercity networks and its empirical validation

ZHAO Miaoxi1, WU Kang2, LIU Xingjian3, Ben DERUDDER4   

  1. 1. College of Architecture/State Key laboratory of Subtropical Building Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China;
    2. College of Urban Economics and Public Management, Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing 100070, China;
    3. Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, 28223, USA;
    4. Department of Geography, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281/S8, B9000 Gent, Belgium
  • Received:2013-03-13 Revised:2013-09-20 Online:2014-02-20 Published:2014-02-20
  • Contact: 吴康(1985-),男,博士,讲师,中国地理学会会员(S110008920M),主要从事城市科学与经济地理研究。
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.51108184; State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science of China, No.2013KB20; The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, No.2013ZZ0022

Abstract: A network perspective has increasingly become an organizing paradigm for understanding regional spatial structure. This paper begins with a critical overview of existing empirical models for estimating intercity networks based on corporate linkages. Extending a recently proposed primary linkage algorithm by Hennemann and Derudder, this paper advances a new method for approximating urban network with locational strategies of firms. The new method considers both regional and hierarchical network features, and avoids information loss that is typical for the conversion between two-mode intercity corporate networks and one-mode intercity networks. In addition, networks estimated by the new method are suitable to be used with social network analytics. The newly proposed method is empirically validated with intercity corporate networks formed by advanced producer service (APS) firms in China's two largest metropolitan regions: Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and Pearl River Delta (PRD). The empirical analysis suggests that (1) in contrast with conventional methods (e.g., the interlocking city network model), our new method would produce regional and hierarchical urban networks that more closely resemble the reality; and (2) the new method allows the effective use of social network analytics such as betweenness and closeness centralities. Nevertheless, the authors note that the validity of any approximation methods for urban networks depends on the soundness of underlying assumptions about how network actors (firms, in our case) interact with each other.

Key words: network measurement, Pearl River Delta, city network, advanced producer service, Yangtze River Delta