Today I read a paper titled “Why aren’t the small worlds of protein contact networks smaller”
The abstract is:
Computer experiments are performed to investigate why protein contact networks (networks induced by spatial contacts between amino acid residues of a protein) do not have shorter average shortest path lengths in spite of their importance to protein folding.
We find that shorter average inter-nodal distances is no guarantee of finding a global optimum more easily.
Results from the experiments also led to observations which parallel an existing view that neither short-range nor long-range interactions dominate the protein folding process.
Nonetheless, runs where there was a slight delay in the use of long-range interactions yielded the best search performance.
We incorporate this finding into the optimization function by giving more weight to short-range links.
This produced results showing that randomizing long-range links does not yield better search performance than protein contact networks au natural even though randomizing long-range links significantly reduces average path lengths and retains much of the clustering and positive degree-degree correlation inherent in protein contact networks.
Hence there can be explanations, other than the excluded volume argument, beneath the topological limits of protein contact networks.