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The Network Structure of the Uniform Commercial Code

Seth J. Chandler
Organization: Unversity of Houston Law Center

2005 Wolfram Technology Conference
Conference location

Champaign IL

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is the body of law governing many forms of transactions in the United States, including sales of goods, leases, most forms of payments, and so-called “secured transactions.” Consisting of 11“articles,” the UCC is a cross-referenced body of law developed in committees by two private organizations and then generally adopted with few modifications by the 50 American states. It is studied extensively in law school and constitutes the primary legal authority used by many commercial lawyers in the United States. This article uses Mathematica to study the implicit network structure of the UCC. It first uses the regular expression constructs of Mathematica to parse the UCC and reveal the structure of nodes and connections it implicitly contains. It then develops tools in Mathematica to analyze and visualize this network. Standard embedded algorithms highlight that the UCC is a classic “small world network” in which highly clustered portions of the law have weak ties to distant clusters in a way that reduces the diameter of the network. The article is also able to show the most important and intricate provisions of the UCC as well as to reveal useful methods of studying this significant body of law.

*Business and Economics

uccanalysis.pdf (1.3 MB) - PDF Document