Exploring patterns of empirical networks

University dissertation from Umeå : Umeå University, Department of Physics

Abstract: We are constantly struggling to understand how nature works, trying to identify recurrent events and looking for analogies and relations between objects or individuals. Knowing patterns of behavior is powerful and fundamental for survival of any species. In this thesis, datasets of diverse systems related to transportation, economics, sexual and social contacts, are characterized by using the formalisms of time series and network theory. Part of the results consists on the collection and analyzes of original network data, the rest focuses on the simulation of dynamical processes on these networks and to study how they are affected by the particular structures. The majority of the thesis is about temporal networks, i.e. networks whose structure changes in time. The new temporal dimension reveals structural dynamical properties that help to understand the feedback mechanisms responsible to make the network structure to adapt and to understand the emergence and inhibition of diverse phenomena in dynamic systems, as epidemics in sexual and contact networks.