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The world may well be a great big onion, but the Internet is a big bow tie

So what happens to it on dress-down days?

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Those wacky funsters at AltaVista, Compaq and IBM reckon that the Web is like a bow tie.

Attempting to explain the mysteries of life, the universe and everything, researchers discovered that the Web is Not as Connected as Previously Thought – in fact almost a quarter of web pages can't be accessed by links from other pages.

The boffins claim that the World Wide Web is fundamentally divided into four large regions, each containing approximately the same number of pages and resembling a bow tie. The four distinct regions make up approximately 90 per cent of the Web (the bow tie), with approximately ten per cent of the Web completely isolated from the entire bow tie.

The "strongly-connected core" (the knot of the bow tie) contains almost one-third of all Web sites. Web surfers can easily travel between these sites via hyperlinks, this large "connected core" is at the heart of the Web. One side of the bow contains "origination" pages, constituting almost a quarter of the Web.

"Origination" pages are pages that allow users to eventually reach the connected core, but cannot be reached from it. The other side of the bow contains "termination" pages, constituting approximately almost one-quarter of the Web. "Termination" pages can be accessed from the connected core, but do not link back to it.

The fourth and final region contains "disconnected" pages, making up approximately 22 per cent of the Web. Disconnected pages can be connected to origination and/or termination pages but are not accessible to or from the connected core.

So now you know. ®

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