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Universal Dynamics on Complex Networks, Really?: A Comparison of Two Real-World Networks that Cross Structural Paths ….. but Ever so Differently.

Universal Dynamics on Complex Networks, Really?: A Comparison of Two Real-World Networks that Cross Structural Paths ….. but Ever so Differently.
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Author(s): Brigitte Gay (University of Toulouse, Toulouse Business School, France)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 19
Source title: Social Network Mining, Analysis, and Research Trends: Techniques and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): I-Hsien Ting (National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan), Tzung-Pei Hong (National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan) and Leon Shyue-Liang Wang (National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-513-7.ch014

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Abstract

The complex network approach developed in statistical physics seems particularly well-suited to analyzing large networks. Progress in the study of complex networks has been made by looking for shared properties and seemingly universal dynamics, thus ignoring the details of networks individual nodes, links, or sub-components. Researchers now need to assess the differences in the processes that take place on complex networks. The author first discusses briefly the theoretical understanding of evolutionary laws governing the emergence of these universal properties (small-world and scale-free networks) and recent evolutions in the field of network analysis. Using data on two empirical networks, a transaction network in the venture capital industry and an interfirm alliance network in a major sector of the biopharmaceutical industry, the author then demonstrates that networks can switch from one ‘universal’ structure to another, but each in its own way. This chapter highlights the need of knowing more about networks, as ‘more is different’.

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