Randomness and Complexity in Networks:

Comments: Slides for talk given by Tim Evans at the workshop on ``Stochastic Networks and Internet Technology'', Centro di Ricerca Matematica Ennio De Giorgi, Matematica nelle Scienze Naturali e Sociali, Pisa, 17th - 21st September 2007. Lecture notes are also available on figshare as Stochastic Networks and Internet Technology. http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.96208

Abstract

I start by reviewing some basic properties of random graphs. I then consider the role of random walks in complex networks and show how they may be used to explain why so many long tailed distributions are found in real data sets. The key idea is that in many cases the process involves copying of properties of near neighbours in the network and this is a type of short random walk which in turn produce a natural preferential attachment mechanism. Applying this to networks of fixed size I show that copying and innovation are processes with special mathematical properties which include the ability to solve a simple model exactly for any parameter values and at any time. I finish by looking at variations of this basic model.