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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Oct 3;101(14):148701. Epub 2008 Oct 1.

Complex networks renormalization: flows and fixed points.

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Complex Systems Lagrange Laboratory (CNLL), ISI Foundation, Torino, Italy.


Recently, it has been claimed that some complex networks are self-similar under a convenient renormalization procedure. We present a general method to study renormalization flows in graphs. We find that the behavior of some variables under renormalization, such as the maximum number of connections of a node, obeys simple scaling laws, characterized by critical exponents. This is true for any class of graphs, from random to scale-free networks, from lattices to hierarchical graphs. Therefore, renormalization flows for graphs are similar as in the renormalization of spin systems. An analysis of classic renormalization for percolation and the Ising model on the lattice confirms this analogy. Critical exponents and scaling functions can be used to classify graphs in universality classes, and to uncover similarities between graphs that are inaccessible to a standard analysis.

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