Small but slow world: How network topology and burstiness slow down spreading

M. Karsai, M. Kivelä, R. K. Pan, K. Kaski, J. Kertész, A.-L. Barabási, J. Saramäki

While communication networks show the small-world property of short paths, the spreading dynamics in them turns out slow. Here, the time evolution of information propagation is followed through communication networks by using empirical data on contact sequences and the susceptible-infected model. Introducing null models where event sequences are appropriately shuffled, we are able to distinguish between the contributions of different impeding effects. The slowing down of spreading is found to be caused mainly by weight-topology correlations and the bursty activity patterns of individuals.

Physical Review E 83, 025102(R)

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