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Classes of complex networks defined by role-to-role connectivity profiles
 

Summary: ARTICLES
Classes of complex networks defined by
role-to-role connectivity profiles
ROGER GUIMER`A*, MARTA SALES-PARDO AND LUŽIS A. N. AMARAL*
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA
*e-mail: rguimera@northwestern.edu; amaral@northwestern.edu
Published online: 24 December 2006; doi:10.1038/nphys489
In physical, biological, technological and social systems, interactions between units give rise to intricate networks. These--typically
non-trivial--structures, in turn, critically affect the dynamics and properties of the system. The focus of most current research on
complex networks is, still, on global network properties. A caveat of this approach is that the relevance of global properties hinges on
the premise that networks are homogeneous, whereas most real-world networks have a markedly modular structure. Here, we report
that networks with different functions, including the Internet, metabolic, air transportation and protein interaction networks, have
distinct patterns of connections among nodes with different roles, and that, as a consequence, complex networks can be classified into
two distinct functional classes on the basis of their link type frequency. Importantly, we demonstrate that these structural features
cannot be captured by means of often studied global properties.
The structure of complex networks1,2
is typically characterized in
terms of global properties, such as the average shortest path length
between nodes3
, the clustering coefficient3

  

Source: Amaral, Luis A.N. - Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University

 

Collections: Physics; Biology and Medicine