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Sci Rep. 2012;2:469. doi: 10.1038/srep00469. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Activity driven modeling of time varying networks.

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Department of Physics, College of Computer and Information Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Network modeling plays a critical role in identifying statistical regularities and structural principles common to many systems. The large majority of recent modeling approaches are connectivity driven. The structural patterns of the network are at the basis of the mechanisms ruling the network formation. Connectivity driven models necessarily provide a time-aggregated representation that may fail to describe the instantaneous and fluctuating dynamics of many networks. We address this challenge by defining the activity potential, a time invariant function characterizing the agents' interactions and constructing an activity driven model capable of encoding the instantaneous time description of the network dynamics. The model provides an explanation of structural features such as the presence of hubs, which simply originate from the heterogeneous activity of agents. Within this framework, highly dynamical networks can be described analytically, allowing a quantitative discussion of the biases induced by the time-aggregated representations in the analysis of dynamical processes.

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