Generalized Master Equations for Non-Poisson Dynamics on Networks

Till Hoffmann, Mason A. Porter, Renaud Lambiotte

The traditional way of studying temporal networks is to aggregate the dynamics of the edges to create a static weighted network. This implicitly assumes that the edges are governed by Poisson processes, which is not typically the case in empirical temporal networks. Consequently, we examine the effects of non-Poisson inter-event statistics on the dynamics of edges, and we apply the concept of a generalized master equation to the study of continuous-time random walks on networks. We show that the equation reduces to the standard rate equations when the underlying process is Poisson and that the stationary solution is determined by an effective transition matrix whose leading eigenvector is easy to calculate. We discuss the implications of our work for dynamical processes on temporal networks and for the construction of network diagnostics that take into account their nontrivial stochastic nature.

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