A Universal Model of Commuting Networks

Maxime Lenormand, Sylvie Huet, Floriana Gargiulo, Guillaume Deffuant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show that a recently proposed model generates accurate commuting networks on 80 case studies from different regions of the world (Europe and United-States) at different scales (e.g. municipalities, counties, regions). The model takes as input the number of commuters coming in and out of each geographic unit and generates the matrix of commuting flows between the units. The single parameter of the model follows a universal law that depends only on the scale of the geographic units. We show that our model significantly outperforms two other approaches proposing a universal commuting model [1, 2], particularly when the geographic units are small (e.g. municipalities).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere45985
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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