A general stochastic model for studying time evolution of transition networks

Choujun Zhan, Chi Kong Tse, Michael Small

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


� 2016 Elsevier B.V. We consider a class of complex networks whose nodes assume one of several possible states at any time and may change their states from time to time. Such networks represent practical networks of rumor spreading, disease spreading, language evolution, and so on. Here, we derive a model describing the dynamics of this kind of network and a simulation algorithm for studying the network evolutionary behavior. This model, derived at a microscopic level, can reveal the transition dynamics of every node. A numerical simulation is taken as an “experiment” or “realization” of the model. We use this model to study the disease propagation dynamics in four different prototypical networks, namely, the regular nearest-neighbor (RN) network, the classical Erd�s–Reny� (ER) random graph, the Watts–Strog�tz small-world (SW) network, and the Barab�si–Albert (BA) scalefree network. We find that the disease propagation dynamics in these four networks generally have different properties but they do share some common features. Furthermore, we utilize the transition network model to predict user growth in the Facebook network. Simulation shows that our model agrees with the historical data. The study can provide a useful tool for a more thorough understanding of the dynamics networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-210
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016


  • Dynamic complex network
  • Simulation algorithm
  • Stochastic process model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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