Time and Citation Networks (ISSI 2015)
Slides for Talk given at ISSI 2015. Short paper based on this can be found in the proceedings or on arXiv as arXiv:1507.01388 (link below).
Citation networks emerge from a number of different social systems, such as academia (from published papers), business (through patents) and law (through legal judgements). A citation represents a transfer of information, and so studying the structure of the citation network will help us understand how knowledge is passed on.
What distinguishes citation networks from other networks is time; documents can only cite older documents. We propose that existing network measures do not take account of the strong constraint imposed by time.
We will illustrate our approach with two types of causally aware analysis. We apply our methods to the citation networks formed by academic papers on the arXiv, to US patents and to US Supreme Court judgements. We show that our tools can reveal that citation networks which appear to very similar structure by standard network measures turn out to have significantly different properties. We interpret our results as indicating that many papers in a bibliography were not directly relevant to the work and that we can provide a simple indicator of the important citations. Further our work suggest that it may be possible to find papers which are of more interest for interdisciplinary research. We also use our work to highlight differences in the diversity of research directions being followed in different fields.