Thong Pham, Paul Sheridan and Hidetoshi Shimodaira
Proceedings of European Conference on Complex Systems 2014. Springer Proceedings in Complexity, pp. 141-153
Publication year: 2015

We introduce a statistically sound method called PAFit for the joint estimation of preferential attachment and node fitness in temporal complex networks. Together these mechanisms play a crucial role in shaping network topology by governing the way in which nodes acquire new edges over time. PAFit is an advance over previous methods in so far as it does not make any assumptions on the functional form of the preferential attachment function. We found that the application of PAFit to a publicly available Flickr social network dataset turned up clear evidence for a deviation of the preferential attachment function from the popularly assumed log-linear form. What is more, we were surprised to find that hubs are not always the nodes with the highest node fitnesses. PAFit is implemented in an R package of the same name.