Comparison of co-occurrence networks of the Chinese and English languages

Wei Liang, Yuming Shi, Chi Kong Tse, Jing Liu, Yanli Wang, Xunqiang Cui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Co-occurrence networks of Chinese characters and words, and of English words, are constructed from collections of Chinese and English articles, respectively. Four types of collections are considered, namely, essays, novels, popular science articles, and news reports. Statistical parameters of the networks are studied, including diameter, average degree, degree distribution, clustering coefficient, average shortest path length, as well as the number of connected subnetworks. It is found that the character and word networks of each type of article in the Chinese language, and the word network of each type of article in the English language all exhibit scale-free and small-world features. The statistical parameters of these co-occurrence networks are compared within the same language and across the two languages. This study reveals some commonalities and differences between Chinese and English languages, and among the four types of articles in each language from a complex network perspective. In particular, it is shown that expressions in English are briefer than those in Chinese in a certain sense.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4901-4909
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Co-occurrence network
  • Language
  • Scale-free network
  • Small-world network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of co-occurrence networks of the Chinese and English languages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this