Funding Agency

MICINN (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades)

Principal Investigator

J. Borge-Holthoefer

Research team

A. Solé-Ribalta, I. Serrano, M. Palazzi

Research area



The study of the complex networks has become one of the subjects of greater interest in the scientific community in the last two decades. Its importance relies not only in the improvement of the understanding of certain physical phenomena, or of the development of the field per se, but also because of its influence on in disciplines as ecology, biology, economy, sociology, or engineering.

In this context, the detection and identification of emergent structural patterns has been, historically, one of the main focus in the development of modern network theory. Such interest is not surprising, because these structural patterns lie at the core of the discipline as one of the keys to the origins which are the assembly rules that led to an observed pattern? and dynamics how does the structure constrain the performance of the network’s activity? of a network. Examples of such patterns are modularity, nestedness, core-periphery structures, etc. These architectural signatures have been mostly studied separately, with little or no attention to possible combinations between them.

However, we have increasing evidence that hybrid patterns are present in real data: first and foremost in community ecology, where the possibility to find combined nested-modular networks is an ongoing debate –specially in relation to the dynamics of a system, which for sure will be different than those of purely modular or purely nested networks. Similar questions have arisen in other domains, the problem being that such questions are ahead of the methodological capabilities of the field. Because of that, we are missing fundamental aspects both at the structural and the dynamical levels of how real networked systems assemble (birth), develop (growth) and function.

In this scenario, the proposal lays out a long-term plan to (i) design the necessary methodological advances for the identification of hybrid patterns, in uni- and multi-layer networks; (ii) carry out a systematic plan to unveil the dynamical properties of synthetic networks, for which the presence of pure or hybrid patterns is controlled, specially in the context of population dynamics; and (iii) apply the previous developments on empirical networks, with special attention to socio-technical systems.