María José Palazzi at Spain's Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) considered the presence of multiple structural patterns in a single network, in order to understand the mechanisms that induce their emergence. Palazzi analyzed events on Twitter, including the 2019 Spanish general elections and the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack, noting that the system tends to be modular, with an internal hierarchy that usually responds to users' interests.
When a news item goes viral, for example, the system reconfigures into a nested structure in which specialist elements with few links form subsets with more widely connected generalist elements. Specialists only engage with generalists, while the more active generalists also may engage with other generalists. Palazzi said the thesis sought to close "a small gap in our understanding of the conditions required for the coexistence of macro-scale, network-wide patterns such as nestedness, and modularity, which is mesoscale, the groups that make up the network."
From Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
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