Factors Determining Nestedness in Complex Networks
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Public Library of Science (PLOS)
BiodiversityCalculatorsCommunity ecologyComplex systemsEcosystemsScale-free networksTheoretical ecologyTopology
Jonhson, S.; Domínguez-García, V.; Muñoz, M.A. Factors Determining Nestedness in Complex Networks. Plos One, 8(9): e74025 (2013). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/31118]
PatrocinadorThis work was supported by Junta de Andalucia projects FQM-01505 and P09-FQM4682, and by Spanish MEC-FEDER project FIS2009-08451. S.J. is grateful for financial support from the European Commision under the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship Programme PIEF-GA-2010-276454.
Understanding the causes and effects of network structural features is a key task in deciphering complex systems. In this context, the property of network nestedness has aroused a fair amount of interest as regards ecological networks. Indeed, Bastolla et al. introduced a simple measure of network nestedness which opened the door to analytical understanding, allowing them to conclude that biodiversity is strongly enhanced in highly nested mutualistic networks. Here, we suggest a slightly refined version of such a measure of nestedness and study how it is influenced by the most basic structural properties of networks, such as degree distribution and degree-degree correlations (i.e. assortativity). We find that most of the empirically found nestedness stems from heterogeneity in the degree distribution. Once such an influence has been discounted – as a second factor – we find that nestedness is strongly correlated with disassortativity and hence – as random networks have been recently found to be naturally disassortative – they also tend to be naturally nested just as the result of chance.