255 research outputs found

    Diffusion geometry unravels the emergence of functional clusters in collective phenomena

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    Collective phenomena emerge from the interaction of natural or artificial units with a complex organization. The interplay between structural patterns and dynamics might induce functional clusters that, in general, are different from topological ones. In biological systems, like the human brain, the overall functionality is often favored by the interplay between connectivity and synchronization dynamics, with functional clusters that do not coincide with anatomical modules in most cases. In social, socio-technical and engineering systems, the quest for consensus favors the emergence of clusters. Despite the unquestionable evidence for mesoscale organization of many complex systems and the heterogeneity of their inter-connectivity, a way to predict and identify the emergence of functional modules in collective phenomena continues to elude us. Here, we propose an approach based on random walk dynamics to define the diffusion distance between any pair of units in a networked system. Such a metric allows to exploit the underlying diffusion geometry to provide a unifying framework for the intimate relationship between metastable synchronization, consensus and random search dynamics in complex networks, pinpointing the functional mesoscale organization of synthetic and biological systems.Comment: 9 pages, 7 figure

    Distance entropy cartography characterises centrality in complex networks

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    We introduce distance entropy as a measure of homogeneity in the distribution of path lengths between a given node and its neighbours in a complex network. Distance entropy defines a new centrality measure whose properties are investigated for a variety of synthetic network models. By coupling distance entropy information with closeness centrality, we introduce a network cartography which allows one to reduce the degeneracy of ranking based on closeness alone. We apply this methodology to the empirical multiplex lexical network encoding the linguistic relationships known to English speaking toddlers. We show that the distance entropy cartography better predicts how children learn words compared to closeness centrality. Our results highlight the importance of distance entropy for gaining insights from distance patterns in complex networks.Comment: 11 page

    Influence of augmented humans in online interactions during voting events

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    The advent of the digital era provided a fertile ground for the development of virtual societies, complex systems influencing real-world dynamics. Understanding online human behavior and its relevance beyond the digital boundaries is still an open challenge. Here we show that online social interactions during a massive voting event can be used to build an accurate map of real-world political parties and electoral ranks. We provide evidence that information flow and collective attention are often driven by a special class of highly influential users, that we name "augmented humans", who exploit thousands of automated agents, also known as bots, for enhancing their online influence. We show that augmented humans generate deep information cascades, to the same extent of news media and other broadcasters, while they uniformly infiltrate across the full range of identified groups. Digital augmentation represents the cyber-physical counterpart of the human desire to acquire power within social systems.Comment: 11 page

    Bots increase exposure to negative and inflammatory content in online social systems

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    Societies are complex systems which tend to polarize into sub-groups of individuals with dramatically opposite perspectives. This phenomenon is reflected -- and often amplified -- in online social networks where, however, humans are no more the only players, and co-exist alongside with social bots, i.e., software-controlled accounts. Analyzing large-scale social data collected during the Catalan referendum for independence on October 1, 2017, consisting of nearly 4 millions Twitter posts generated by almost 1 million users, we identify the two polarized groups of Independentists and Constitutionalists and quantify the structural and emotional roles played by social bots. We show that bots act from peripheral areas of the social system to target influential humans of both groups, bombarding Independentists with violent contents, increasing their exposure to negative and inflammatory narratives and exacerbating social conflict online. Our findings stress the importance of developing countermeasures to unmask these forms of automated social manipulation.Comment: 8 pages, 5 figure

    Complex Networks from Classical to Quantum

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    Recent progress in applying complex network theory to problems in quantum information has resulted in a beneficial crossover. Complex network methods have successfully been applied to transport and entanglement models while information physics is setting the stage for a theory of complex systems with quantum information-inspired methods. Novel quantum induced effects have been predicted in random graphs---where edges represent entangled links---and quantum computer algorithms have been proposed to offer enhancement for several network problems. Here we review the results at the cutting edge, pinpointing the similarities and the differences found at the intersection of these two fields.Comment: 12 pages, 4 figures, REVTeX 4-1, accepted versio

    Network depth: identifying median and contours in complex networks

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    Centrality descriptors are widely used to rank nodes according to specific concept(s) of importance. Despite the large number of centrality measures available nowadays, it is still poorly understood how to identify the node which can be considered as the `centre' of a complex network. In fact, this problem corresponds to finding the median of a complex network. The median is a non-parametric and robust estimator of the location parameter of a probability distribution. In this work, we present the most natural generalisation of the concept of median to the realm of complex networks, discussing its advantages for defining the centre of the system and percentiles around that centre. To this aim, we introduce a new statistical data depth and we apply it to networks embedded in a geometric space induced by different metrics. The application of our framework to empirical networks allows us to identify median nodes which are socially or biologically relevant

    Characterizing interactions in online social networks during exceptional events

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    Nowadays, millions of people interact on a daily basis on online social media like Facebook and Twitter, where they share and discuss information about a wide variety of topics. In this paper, we focus on a specific online social network, Twitter, and we analyze multiple datasets each one consisting of individuals' online activity before, during and after an exceptional event in terms of volume of the communications registered. We consider important events that occurred in different arenas that range from policy to culture or science. For each dataset, the users' online activities are modeled by a multilayer network in which each layer conveys a different kind of interaction, specifically: retweeting, mentioning and replying. This representation allows us to unveil that these distinct types of interaction produce networks with different statistical properties, in particular concerning the degree distribution and the clustering structure. These results suggests that models of online activity cannot discard the information carried by this multilayer representation of the system, and should account for the different processes generated by the different kinds of interactions. Secondly, our analysis unveils the presence of statistical regularities among the different events, suggesting that the non-trivial topological patterns that we observe may represent universal features of the social dynamics on online social networks during exceptional events
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