Classes of complex networks defined by role-to-role connectivity profiles

Roger Guimerà*, Marta Sales-Pardo, Luís A.N. Amaral

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

344 Scopus citations


In physical, biological, technological and social systems, interactions between units give rise to intricate networks. These - typically non-trivial - structures, in turn, critically affect the dynamics and properties of the system. The focus of most current research on complex networks is, still, on global network properties. A caveat of this approach is that the relevance of global properties hinges on the premise that networks are homogeneous, whereas most real-world networks have a markedly modular structure. Here, we report that networks with different functions, including the Internet, metabolic, air transportation and protein interaction networks, have distinct patterns of connections among nodes with different roles, and that, as a consequence, complex networks can be classified into two distinct functional classes on the basis of their link type frequency. Importantly, we demonstrate that these structural features cannot be captured by means of often studied global properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalNature Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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