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A "power law distribution" refers to a probability distribution of a certain mathematical form, usually describing "...phenomena where large events are rare, but small ones quite common. For example,
- There are few large earthquakes but many small ones.
- There are a few mega-cities, but many small towns.
- There are few words, such as 'and' and 'the' that occur very frequently, but many which occur rarely. .
One mechanism which can explain a PowerLaw distribution in domains of social popularity is PreferentialAttachment. In this domain, a popular PowerLaw is called the LongTail, which typically follows ZipfsLaw.