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Topirceanu A.,Polytechnic UniversityTimisoara | Duma A.,Polytechnic UniversityTimisoara | Udrescu M.,Polytechnic UniversityTimisoara
Computer Communications | Year: 2015

Complex networks facilitate the understanding of natural and man-made processes and are classified based on the concepts they model: biological, technological, social or semantic. The relevant subgraphs in these networks, called network motifs, are demonstrated to show core aspects of network functionality and can be used to analyze complex networks based on their topological fingerprint. We propose a novel approach of classifying social networks based on their topological aspects using motifs. As such, we define the classifiers for regular, random, small-world and scale-free topologies, and then apply this classification on empirical networks. We then show how our study brings a new perspective on differentiating between online social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus based on the distribution of network motifs over the fundamental topology classes. Characteristic patterns of motifs are obtained for each of the analyzed online networks and are used to better explain the functional properties behind how people interact online and to define classifiers capable of mapping any online network to a set of topological-communicational properties. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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