Thursday, August 17, 2006

Metcalfe's Law

DEFINITION - Metcalfe's Law is expressed in two general ways:

1) The number of possible cross-connections in a network grow as the square of the number of computers in the network increases.

2) The community value of a network grows as the square of the number of its users increase.

The original statement from Robert M. Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, was apparently (according to one source):

"The power of the network increases exponentially by the number of computers connected to it. Therefore, every computer added to the network both uses it as a resource while adding resources in a spiral of increasing value and choice."

Metcalfe's Law is often cited as an explanation for the rapid growth of the Internet (or perhaps more especially for the World Wide Web on the Internet). Together, with Moore's Law about the rate at which computer power is accelerating, Metcalfe's Law can be used to explain the rising wave of information technology that we are riding into the 21st century.

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