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      Temporal Networks

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          Abstract

          A great variety of systems in nature, society and technology -- from the web of sexual contacts to the Internet, from the nervous system to power grids -- can be modeled as graphs of vertices coupled by edges. The network structure, describing how the graph is wired, helps us understand, predict and optimize the behavior of dynamical systems. In many cases, however, the edges are not continuously active. As an example, in networks of communication via email, text messages, or phone calls, edges represent sequences of instantaneous or practically instantaneous contacts. In some cases, edges are active for non-negligible periods of time: e.g., the proximity patterns of inpatients at hospitals can be represented by a graph where an edge between two individuals is on throughout the time they are at the same ward. Like network topology, the temporal structure of edge activations can affect dynamics of systems interacting through the network, from disease contagion on the network of patients to information diffusion over an e-mail network. In this review, we present the emergent field of temporal networks, and discuss methods for analyzing topological and temporal structure and models for elucidating their relation to the behavior of dynamical systems. In the light of traditional network theory, one can see this framework as moving the information of when things happen from the dynamical system on the network, to the network itself. Since fundamental properties, such as the transitivity of edges, do not necessarily hold in temporal networks, many of these methods need to be quite different from those for static networks.

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          Most cited references 92

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          Community detection in graphs

          The modern science of networks has brought significant advances to our understanding of complex systems. One of the most relevant features of graphs representing real systems is community structure, or clustering, i. e. the organization of vertices in clusters, with many edges joining vertices of the same cluster and comparatively few edges joining vertices of different clusters. Such clusters, or communities, can be considered as fairly independent compartments of a graph, playing a similar role like, e. g., the tissues or the organs in the human body. Detecting communities is of great importance in sociology, biology and computer science, disciplines where systems are often represented as graphs. This problem is very hard and not yet satisfactorily solved, despite the huge effort of a large interdisciplinary community of scientists working on it over the past few years. We will attempt a thorough exposition of the topic, from the definition of the main elements of the problem, to the presentation of most methods developed, with a special focus on techniques designed by statistical physicists, from the discussion of crucial issues like the significance of clustering and how methods should be tested and compared against each other, to the description of applications to real networks.
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            Epidemic spreading in scale-free networks

            The Internet, as well as many other networks, has a very complex connectivity recently modeled by the class of scale-free networks. This feature, which appears to be very efficient for a communications network, favors at the same time the spreading of computer viruses. We analyze real data from computer virus infections and find the average lifetime and prevalence of viral strains on the Internet. We define a dynamical model for the spreading of infections on scale-free networks, finding the absence of an epidemic threshold and its associated critical behavior. This new epidemiological framework rationalize data of computer viruses and could help in the understanding of other spreading phenomena on communication and social networks.
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              The origin of bursts and heavy tails in human dynamics

              The dynamics of many social, technological and economic phenomena are driven by individual human actions, turning the quantitative understanding of human behavior into a central question of modern science. Current models of human dynamics, used from risk assessment to communications, assume that human actions are randomly distributed in time and thus well approximated by Poisson processes. In contrast, there is increasing evidence that the timing of many human activities, ranging from communication to entertainment and work patterns, follow non-Poisson statistics, characterized by bursts of rapidly occurring events separated by long periods of inactivity. Here we show that the bursty nature of human behavior is a consequence of a decision based queuing process: when individuals execute tasks based on some perceived priority, the timing of the tasks will be heavy tailed, most tasks being rapidly executed, while a few experience very long waiting times. In contrast, priority blind execution is well approximated by uniform interevent statistics. These findings have important implications from resource management to service allocation in both communications and retail.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                08 August 2011
                2011-12-15
                Article
                10.1016/j.physrep.2012.03.001
                1108.1780

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                Phys. Rep. 519, 97-125 (2012)
                nlin.AO cs.SI physics.data-an physics.soc-ph

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