Tie-decay networks in continuous time and eigenvector-based centralities

1 May 2018  ·  Walid Ahmad, Mason A. Porter, Mariano Beguerisse-Díaz ·

Network theory is a useful framework for studying interconnected systems of interacting entities. Many networked systems evolve continuously in time, but most existing methods for the analysis of time-dependent networks rely on discrete or discretized time. In this paper, we propose an approach for studying networks that evolve in continuous time by distinguishing between \emph{interactions}, which we model as discrete contacts, and \emph{ties}, which encode the strengths of relationships as functions of time. To illustrate our tie-decay network formalism, we adapt the well-known PageRank centrality score to our tie-decay framework in a mathematically tractable and computationally efficient way. We apply this framework to a synthetic example and then use it to study a network of retweets during the 2012 National Health Service controversy in the United Kingdom. Our work also provides guidance for similar generalizations of other tools from network theory to continuous-time networks with tie decay, including for applications to streaming data.

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Physics and Society Numerical Analysis Social and Information Networks Numerical Analysis Probability Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems