Network structure is a product of both its topology and interactions between its nodes. We explore this claim using the paradigm of distributed synchronization in a network of coupled oscillators. As the network evolves to a global steady state, nodes synchronize in stages, revealing the network's underlying community structure. Traditional models of synchronization assume that interactions between nodes are mediated by a conservative process similar to diffusion. However, social and biological processes are often nonconservative. We propose a model of synchronization in a network of oscillators coupled via nonconservative processes. We study the dynamics of synchronization of a synthetic and real-world networks and show that the traditional and nonconservative models of synchronization reveal different structures within the same network.
"Network structure, topology, and dynamics in generalized models of synchronization"
Kristina Lerman and Rumi Ghosh
Phys. Rev. E 86, 026108 (2012)