So, in my readings today, I came across the flowing quote.

"… in trying to solve the problem of billing long-distance

telephone users fairly, mathematicians made fundamental

discoveries about the mathematics of complex networks…"

telephone users fairly, mathematicians made fundamental

discoveries about the mathematics of complex networks…"

That sound’s kind of interesting. I know a little about the subject, but never heard of this particular problem being studied. I’m curious *which* fundamental discoveries are being referred to here. Maybe this is an old-fashioned reference to some of Mandelbrot’s work? Though that doesn’t seem to quite fit the usual way his work is discussed. The older work of Erland and Molina doesn’t seem to fit either.

What makes this quote more interesting is that it is from 1990. The age of Network Science didn’t really catch on until around 2000 with early internet analyses, so this is an early reference. Certainly, telephone networks are mentioned in Network Science books like Newman’s, but nothing in reference to billing. I’ve dug around on the internet, but cann’t find anything yet. If you know something about this, please contact me!