As new instances of nested organization—beyond ecological networks—are discovered, scholars are debating the coexistence of two apparently incompatible macroscale architectures: nestedness and modularity. The discussion is far from being solved, mainly for two reasons. First, nestedness and modularity appear to emerge from two contradictory dynamics, cooperation and competition. Second, existing methods to assess the presence of nestedness and modularity are flawed when it comes to the evaluation of concurrently nested and modular structures. In this work, we tackle the latter problem, presenting the concept of in-block nestedness, a structural property determining to what extent a network is composed of blocks whose internal connectivity exhibits nestedness. We then put forward a set of optimization methods that allow us to identify such organization successfully, in synthetic and in a large number of real networks. These findings challenge our understanding of the topology of ecological and social systems, calling for new models to explain how such patterns emerge.
Revealing in-block nestedness: detection and benchmarking
Physical review E
A. Solé-Ribalta, J. Borge-Holthoefer, M.S. Mariani, C.J. Tessone
- Community Structure, Network Structure, Patterns in Complex Systems, Social Systems, Topological Tools