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Totally Homogeneous Networks


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Dinghua ShiLinyuan LüGuanrong Chen
In network science, the non-homogeneity of node degrees has been a concerned issue for study. Yet, with the modern web technologies today, the traditional social communication topologies have evolved from node-central structures to online cycle-based communities, urgently requiring new network theories and tools. Switching the focus from node degrees to network cycles, it could reveal many interesting properties from the perspective of totally homogeneous networks, or sub-networks in a complex network, especially basic simplexes (cliques) such as links and triangles. Clearly, comparing to node degrees it is much more challenging to deal with network cycles. For studying the latter, a new clique vector space framework is introduced in this paper, where the vector space with a basis consisting of links has the dimension equal to the number of links, that with a basis consisting of triangles has the dimension equal to the number of triangles, and so on. These two vector spaces are related through a boundary operator, e.g., mapping the boundary of a triangle in one space to the sun of three links in the other space. Under the new framework, some important concepts and methodologies from algebraic topology, such as characteristic number, homology group and Betti number, will have a play in network science leading to foreseeable new research directions. As immediate applications, the paper illustrates some important characteristics affecting the collective behaviors of complex networks, some new cycle-dependent importance indexes of nodes, and implications for network synchronization and brain network analysis.