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The small-world phenomenon formalized in this article as the coincidence of high local clustering and short global separation, is shown to be a general feature of sparse, decentralized networks that are neither completely ordered nor completely random. Networks of this kind have received little attention, yet they appear to be widespread in the social and natural sciences, as is indicated here by three distinct examples. Furthermore, small admixtures of randomness to an otherwise ordereddoi:10.1086/210318 fatcat:sec6nsnjsne7zetfstjsdbex7y