Time series analysis of temporal networks*
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, 721302, India
Received in final form: 26 November 2015
Published online: 20 January 2016
A common but an important feature of all real-world networks is that they are temporal in nature, i.e., the network structure changes over time. Due to this dynamic nature, it becomes difficult to propose suitable growth models that can explain the various important characteristic properties of these networks. In fact, in many application oriented studies only knowing these properties is sufficient. For instance, if one wishes to launch a targeted attack on a network, this can be done even without the knowledge of the full network structure; rather an estimate of some of the properties is sufficient enough to launch the attack. We, in this paper show that even if the network structure at a future time point is not available one can still manage to estimate its properties. We propose a novel method to map a temporal network to a set of time series instances, analyze them and using a standard forecast model of time series, try to predict the properties of a temporal network at a later time instance. To our aim, we consider eight properties such as number of active nodes, average degree, clustering coefficient etc. and apply our prediction framework on them. We mainly focus on the temporal network of human face-to-face contacts and observe that it represents a stochastic process with memory that can be modeled as Auto-Regressive-Integrated-Moving-Average (ARIMA). We use cross validation techniques to find the percentage accuracy of our predictions. An important observation is that the frequency domain properties of the time series obtained from spectrogram analysis could be used to refine the prediction framework by identifying beforehand the cases where the error in prediction is likely to be high. This leads to an improvement of 7.96% (for error level ≤20%) in prediction accuracy on an average across all datasets. As an application we show how such prediction scheme can be used to launch targeted attacks on temporal networks.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2016