Many real-world systems are profitably described as complex networks that grow over time. Preferential attachment and node fitness are two ubiquitous growth mechanisms that not only explain certain structural properties commonly observed in real-world systems, but are also tied to a number of applications in modeling and inference. While there are standard statistical packages for estimating the structural properties of complex networks, there is no corresponding package when it comes to the estimation of growth mechanisms. This paper introduces the R package PAFit, which implements well-established statistical methods for estimating preferential attachment and node fitness, as well as a number of functions for generating complex networks from these two mechanisms. The main computational part of the package is implemented in C++ with OpenMP to ensure good performance for large-scale networks. In this paper, we first introduce the main functionalities of PAFit using simulated examples, and then use the package to analyze a collaboration network between scientists in the field of complex networks.
PAFit: An R Package for Modeling and Estimating Preferential Attachment and Node Fitness in Temporal Complex Networks
Thong Pham, Paul Sheridan, Hidetoshi Shimodaira