From brain to earth and climate systems: small-world interaction networks or not?

Chaos. 2010 Mar;20(1):013134. doi: 10.1063/1.3360561.


We consider recent reports on small-world topologies of interaction networks derived from the dynamics of spatially extended systems that are investigated in diverse scientific fields such as neurosciences, geophysics, or meteorology. With numerical simulations that mimic typical experimental situations, we have identified an important constraint when characterizing such networks: indications of a small-world topology can be expected solely due to the spatial sampling of the system along with the commonly used time series analysis based approaches to network characterization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biophysics / methods
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Climate
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nerve Net