Visualising Complex Networks
Problem being addressed
Networks in which agents interact occur in many different fields ranging from economics to biology. However, these networks, due to their complexity, are difficult to analyse and visualise in practice. How can this be done?
This paper presents a tool called muxViz which is an open-source software package that can be used for the visual representation of multilayer networks. In particular, the user is able to model and visualise the dynamics of a network that is evolving and make pictorial sense of the behaviour in the network. The package allows for the creation of time sliced visualisations of network structures, as well as an allowance for ranking and categorisations of nodes. A number of beautiful visualisations are presented in the paper. The range of examples include synaptic structures from biology, the communication and mobility networks of the Ivory Coast, and the traffic network of European Airports.
Advantages of this solution
It is difficult to make sense of complex behaviour without good visual representations. Since networks arise in many different contexts across multiple industries this is a useful tool for analysts to keep at hand.
Possible New Application of the Work
Central banks are often concerned about how the banking system is interlinked from a debt perspective. This research could allow a realtime visual representation of behaviour in the interbank network.
The economy is an interconnected network. In particular, it can be considered as an evolving multilayer network. Using this software to visualise the behaviour of economic dynamics can be useful for governments that are struggling to understand the behaviour of the economy as a system. This is particularly relevant in setting post-COVID19 policy, since the breakdown of the network structure of the economy is what we are experiencing at the moment.
Real Estate Industry
Agent based models which map real estate patterns are interesting and evolve over time. These models tell us how people are buying, where people are buying and where they are moving too. A tool like muxViz could help visualise these patterns and thus help realtors plan more effectively.
Mobile telecommunications networks are spatially embedded structures that evolve as people hop from area to area. This is particularly true for 5G network architectures that are about to be roll-out. Understanding mobility patterns and being able to see them in real-time could be useful for managing network load automatically.
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