Unfolding accessibility provides a macroscopic approach to temporal networks

Research paper by Hartmut H K Lentz, Thomas Selhorst, Igor M Sokolov

Indexed on: 08 Oct '12Published on: 08 Oct '12Published in: Physics - Physics and Society


An accessibility graph of a network contains a link, wherever there is a path of arbitrary length between two nodes. We generalize the concept of accessibility to temporal networks. Building an accessibility graph by consecutively adding paths of growing length (unfolding), we obtain information about the distribution of shortest path durations and characteristic time-scales in temporal networks. Moreover, we define causal fidelity to measure the goodness of their static representation. The practicability of our proposed methods is demonstrated for three examples: networks of social contacts, livestock trade and sexual contacts.