Communicability angle and the spatial efficiency of networks

Estrada, Ernesto and Hatano, Naomichi (2016) Communicability angle and the spatial efficiency of networks. SIAM Review, 58 (4). pp. 692-715. ISSN 0036-1445 (

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We introduce the concept of communicability angle between a pair of nodes in a graph. We provide strong analytical and empirical evidence that the average communicability angle for a given network accounts for its spatial efficiency on the basis of the communications among the nodes in a network. We determine characteristics of the spatial efficiency of more than a hundred real-world complex networks that represent complex systems arising in a diverse set of scenarios. In particular, we find that the communicability angle correlates very well with the experimentally measured value of the relative packing efficiency of proteins that are represented as residue networks. We finally show how we can modulate the spatial efficiency of a network by tuning the weights of the edges of the networks. This allows us to predict effects of external stresses on the spatial efficiency of a network as well as to design strategies to improve important parameters in real-world complex systems.