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Modeling human dynamics of face-to-face interaction networksFace-to-face interaction networks describe social interactions in human gatherings, and are the substrate for processes such as epidemic spreading and gossip propagation. The bursty nature of human behavior characterizes many aspects of empirical data, such as the distribution of conversation lengths, of conversations per person, or of interconversation times. Despite several recent attempts, a general theoretical understanding of the global picture emerging from data is still lacking. Here we present a simple model that reproduces quantitatively most of the relevant features of empirical face-to-face interaction networks. The model describes agents that perform a random walk in a two-dimensional space and are characterized by an attractiveness whose effect is to slow down the motion of people around them. The proposed framework sheds light on the dynamics of human interactions and can improve the modeling of dynamical processes taking place on the ensuing dynamical social networks.
Random walks on temporal networks
Starnini, Michele; Baronchelli, Andrea; Barrat, Alain; Pastor Satorras, Romualdo
Physical review E: statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Date of publication: 2012
Read the abstract Access to the full text Share Reference managersMany natural and artificial networks evolve in time. Nodes and connections appear and disappear at various time scales, and their dynamics has profound consequences for any processes in which they are involved. The first empirical analysis of the temporal patterns characterizing dynamic networks are still recent, so that many questions remain open. Here, we study how random walks, as a paradigm of dynamical processes, unfold on temporally evolving networks. To this aim, we use empirical dynamical networks of contacts between individuals, and characterize the fundamental quantities that impact any general process taking place upon them. Furthermore, we introduce different randomizing strategies that allow us to single out the role of the different properties of the empirical networks. We show that the random walk exploration is slower on temporal networks than it is on the aggregate projected network, even when the time is properly rescaled. In particular, we point out that a fundamental role is played by the temporal correlations between consecutive contacts present in the data. Finally, we address the consequences of the intrinsically limited duration of many real world dynamical networks. Considering the fundamental prototypical role of the random walk process, we believe that these results could help to shed light on the behavior of more complex dynamics on temporally evolving networks.