Geographical influences of an emerging network of gang rivalries

Rachel A. Hegemann, Laura M. Smith, Alethea B.T. Barbaro, Andrea L. Bertozzi, Shannon E. Reid, George E. Tita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We propose an agent-based model to simulate the creation of street gang rivalries. The movement dynamics of agents are coupled to an evolving network of gang rivalries, which is determined by previous interactions among agents in the system. Basic gang data, geographic information, and behavioral dynamics suggested by the criminology literature are integrated into the model. The major highways, rivers, and the locations of gangs' centers of activity influence the agents' motion. We use a policing division of the Los Angeles Police Department as a case study to test our model. We apply common metrics from graph theory to analyze our model, comparing networks produced by our simulations and an instance of a Geographical Threshold Graph to the existing network from the criminology literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3894-3914
Number of pages21
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number21-22
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Agent-based model
  • Biased Lévy walk
  • Complex system
  • Dynamic network
  • Gang rivalry
  • Geographical Threshold Graph

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