Douglas W. Jones Erdos Number

and other rankings

by Douglas W. Jones
THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Department of Computer Science


One of the most interesting ways to evaluate a researcher is to look at how many highly cited publications they have. The H-Index (developed by Jorge Hirsch at UCSD) asks, for example, for the number of papers cited by at least that many other papers.

Here is an attempt at this, although Google Scholar and similar citation databases had real difficulty disambiguating the different authors named Douglas Jones. In addition, some articles are indexed under multiple variant titles because authors don't always cite things consistently. For example, some authors cite the web site from which they downloaded an electronic copy of the paper instead of the journal in which it was published. In the following, the notation 3 + 2 means that Google found 3 citations under one title plus 2 under another.

  1. 296 -- An empirical comparison of priority queue and event set implementations
  2. 136 -- Applications of Splay Trees to Data Compression
  3. 96 -- Concurrent operations on priority queues
  4. 42 + 15 -- Control of Stepping Motors
  5. 28 + 16 -- A Brief Illustrated History of Voting
  6. 39 -- With R. Condit, Microchip AN907 Stepping Motor Fundamentals
  7. 32 -- Concurrent simulation: An alternative to distributed simulation
  8. 24 + 4 + 2 -- with B. Simons, Broken Ballots
  9. 30 -- The Ultimate RISC
  10. 26 -- Auditing Elections
  11. 22 -- with C-C. Chou, D. Renk, and S. C. Bruell. Experience with concurrent simulation
  12. 22 -- The evaluaiton of voting technology
  13. 21 -- With B. Simons, Internet voting in the US
  14. 12 + 9 -- The Case of the Diebold FTP Site
  15. 19 -- Threats to Voting Systems (page 171-179 of the PDF)
  16. 18 -- With P.L. Vora, B. Adida, R. Bucholz, D. Chaum, D.L. Dill, D. Jefferson, W. Lattin, A.D. Rubin, M.I. Shamos and M. Yung. Evaluation of Voting Systems
  17. 17 -- Chain Voting (pages 53-55 of the PDF)
  18. 17 -- With T.C. Bowersox, Secure Data Export and Auditing using Data Diodes

Tentatively, then, as of late March, 2016, I have an H-Index of 17.

Erdos Number

A person's Erdös number is the length of the chain of co-authored publications linking that person to the prolific mathematician Paul Erdös. Since Erdös' primary contribution to mathematics may well have been the number of papers he coauthored during his career, this number is of little practical use except perhaps as a source of illustrations for discussions of graph theory. There can be multiple paths through the coauthor graph, and finding the minimum path length is not always easy. Here is a worked exercise that locates many paths all that have the same length:

Douglas Jones (Erdös number 3), coauthor of Evaluation of Voting Systems with:

Bacon Number

A person's Bacon number is defined similarly to the Erdös number, but using the relationship "appeared in the same movie as" instead of "coauthored a paper with" and counting from the actor Kevin Bacon instead of the mathematician Paul Erdös. Bacon numbers have about as much utility as Erdös numbers, except that some of the names are more glamorous.

I've never acted in a movie, but thanks to several documentaries, I'm listed in IMDB, so if the definition of a Bacon number includes documentaries, I can claim a Bacon number of 3 along several paths:

Douglas W. Jones (Bacon number 3), Credited technical advisor to Hacking Democracy narrated by:

Doug Jones (Bacon number 3), Appeared in: Call It Democracy with:

The final path above, through Rep. John Conyers, is the one that The Oracle of Bacon reports, when tested on Sept. 30, 2013. It also finds paths through Rep. Jesse Jackson.