Worried about the dominance of big instances? No, really, this is quite natural.

As an emergent and self-governing system, it could be expected that the size distribution of instances roughly follows Zipf's law.

Does it?

At first you see the top 6 instances, and then the rest. But on a log-log scale the size distribution is close to a straight line, which would be expected from an emergent system.


@Stoori If I may ask, why is an emergent system expected to follow Zipf's law?

@kdsch Ok, I'll take a step back and say that I do not in any way claim it to be a universal law. Because I'm not into philosophical musings about statistical distributions right now.

It's just so that many emergent systems *do* follow that kind of distribution, so it's reasonable to assume that any new emergent system *may also* behave similarly. And in this case the data supports the assumption.


@Stoori That's fine. I was just curious why you would expect that; I find it very interesting, and this was the first time I heard the idea. I'm not really a stats person, but I have read about emergence.

@kdsch @Stoori though one can explain power law like distributions from a purely mathematical or distributional point of view, the most intuitive explanation is that there is an underlying preferential attachment process, or mechanism, generating it (at least thats what i remember from my classes 😆 ); that is, some instances are big because they were bigger than others in the past which gives them a bigger (higher?) chance to be chosen by new users (a positive feedback)

@marcelovmaciel @kdsch Of course, it boils down to the fact that people can choose their instance freely. If there was a mechanism to assign people randomly to different instances, the distribution would be totally different.

It will be interesting to look at the stats a year from now (etc.) and see if the s factor (in a sense a measure of concentration) stays stable or changes notably.

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