Betweenness preference: Quantifying correlations in the topological dynamics of temporal networks

Rene Pfitzner, Ingo Scholtes, Antonios Garas, Claudio Juan Tessone and Frank Schweitzer

Physical Review Letters (2013)


Time - evolving interaction patterns studied in different contexts can be well represented bytemporal networks in which nodes are intermittently connected. In this Letter we introducethe notion of betweenness preference in the study of temporal networks. It captures how likelya certain node is to mediate interactions between particular pairs of its neighboring nodes.We argue that betweenness preference is an important correlation to consider in the analysisof temporal network data. In particular, it allows to assess to which extent paths existing intime - aggregated, static representations of temporal networks are actually feasible based onthe underlying sequence of interactions. We argue that betweenness preference correlationsare present in empirical data sets. We further show that neglecting betweenness preferencewill lead to significantly wrong statements about spreading dynamics in temporal networks.