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Research Fellows Directory

Ernesto Estrada

Professor Ernesto Estrada

Research Fellow


University of Strathclyde

Research summary

Real-world networked systems could be more complicated than the simple

network picture usually presented. For instance, in an office the same group of

people communicate using at least two different kinds of networks: one formal and

the other(s) informal. Such structure can be represented as a multilayer network

or multiplex, where information flows on the different layers of an onion-like

structure. I have generalised the concept of network communicability to this kind

of structures. This concept assumes that the information uses all possible routes

connecting the respective nodes of a network in a way that the shortest routes

receive more importance than the longer ones. We have observed that new

patterns of communication arise as a consequence of the coupling between the

different layers of a multiplex, which cannot be explained neither by considering

the isolated layers nor by summing all of them together.

I have also studied how the simultaneous existence of friendship and enmity

relations shapes the communication patterns in networks. The communicability

among the nodes in a network can also define ways to characterise how efficiently

a network uses the available space. This is important when analysing networks

which has grown under spatial constraints, such as in urban street networks or in

the networks arising in the human brain. I have proposed a way of quantifying how

effectively a network is using such space, even when they are not geographically

embedded. This allows us to quantify the spatial efficiency even in cases of

abstract spaces such as ecological and collaboration spaces. We have also

developed a model that allows us to represent the random distribution of nodes in

such geographical regions. Our model permits the variation of the geometrical

shape of these regions and has important implications for the analysis of the

propagation of rumours in social networks, viruses in populations and even oil and

gas through fracture rocks.

Grants awarded

Physico-mathematical modelling of communication patterns in complex networks

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Jan 2014 - Dec 2018

Value: £75,000