Abstract: There has been a recent surge of interest in studying dynamical processes, including evolutionary optimization, on scale-free topologies. While various scaling parameters and assortativities have been observed in natural scale-free interaction networks, most previous studies of dynamics on scale-free graphs have employed a graph-generating algorithm that yields a topology with an uncorrelated degree distribution and a fixed scaling parameter. In this paper, we advance the understanding of selective pressure in scale-free networks by systematically investigating takeover times under local uniform selection in scale-free topologies with varying scaling exponents, assortativities, average degrees, and numbers of vertices. We demonstrate why the so-called characteristic path length of a graph is a nonlinear function of both scaling and assortativity. Neither the eigenvalues of the adjacency matrix nor the effective population size was sufficient to account for the variance in takeover times over the parameter space that was explored. Rather, we show that 97% of the variance of logarithmically transformed average takeover times, on all scale-free graphs tested, could be accounted for by a planar function of: 1) the average inverse degree (which captures the effects of scaling) and 2) the logarithm of the population size. Additionally, we show that at low scaling exponents, increasingly positive assortativities increased the variability between experiments on different random graph instances, while increasingly negative assortativities increased the variability between takeover times from different initial conditions on the same graph instances. We explore the mechanisms behind our sometimes counterintuitive findings, and discuss potential implications for evolutionary computation and other relevant disciplines.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).