Null Model and Community Structure in Multiplex Networks

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific Reports, 2018, 8 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2018 The Author(s). The multiple relationships among objects in complex systems can be described well by multiplex networks, which contain rich information of the connections between objects. The null model of networks, which can be used to quantify the specific nature of a network, is a powerful tool for analysing the structural characteristics of complex systems. However, the null model for multiplex networks remains largely unexplored. In this paper, we propose a null model for multiplex networks based on the node redundancy degree, which is a natural measure for describing the multiple relationships in multiplex networks. Based on this model, we define the modularity of multiplex networks to study the community structures in multiplex networks and demonstrate our theory in practice through community detection in four real-world networks. The results show that our model can reveal the community structures in multiplex networks and indicate that our null model is a useful approach for providing new insights into the specific nature of multiplex networks, which are difficult to quantify.
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