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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: September 2012

3 - Network models


In this chapter we present a review of network models that will be used to study dynamical processes in the context of computational approaches. These different models will also help to determine the influence that specific network features have on the various phenomena that will be considered in the next chapters. To this end, we will discuss the different modeling approaches and put the activity focused on each of the different dynamical models into the proper perspective. Particular emphasis will be devoted to models which have been developed as theoretical examples of the different specific classes of real-world networks empirically observed.

Randomness and network models

Static random graph models and topology generators such as the paradigmatic Erdős–Rényi model (Erdős and Rényi, 1959; 1960; 1961) and the network generation algorithm of Molloy and Reed (1995) are the simplest network models to include stochasticity as an essential element. They are characterized by an absolute lack of knowledge of the principles that guide the creation of edges between nodes. Lacking any information, the simplest assumption one can make is to connect pairs of nodes at random with a given connection probability p. In its original formulation, an Erdős–Rényi graph GN, E is constructed starting from a set of N different vertices which are joined by E edges whose ends are selected at random among the N vertices.