Complex Networks of Functions

Luciano da F. Costa

Functions correspond to one of the key concepts in mathematics and science, allowing the representation and modeling of several types of signals and systems. The present work develops an approach for characterizing the coverage and interrelationship between discrete signals that can be fitted by a set of reference functions, allowing the definition of transition networks between the considered discrete signals. While the adjacency between discrete signals is defined in terms of respective Euclidean distances, the property of being adjustable by the reference functions provides an additional constraint leading to a surprisingly diversity of transition networks topologies. First, we motivate the possibility to define transitions between parametric continuous functions, a concept that is subsequently extended to discrete functions and signals. Given that the set of all possible discrete signals in a bound region corresponds to a finite number of cases, it becomes feasible to verify the adherence of each of these signals with respect to a reference set of functions. Then, by taking into account also the Euclidean proximity between those discrete signals found to be adjustable, it becomes possible to obtain a respective transition network that can be not only used to study the properties and interrelationships of the involved discrete signals as underlain by the reference functions, but which also provide an interesting complex network theoretical model on itself, presenting a surprising diversity of topological features, including modular organization coexisting with more uniform portions, tails and handles, as well as hubs. Examples of the proposed concepts and methodologies are provided respectively with respect to three case examples involving power, sinusoidal and polynomial functions.

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