The Iterated Local Model For Social Networks


A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Ryerson University had a paper accepted to the journal of Discrete Applied Mathematics. The paper introduces a novel model which emulates real world social networks which are generated following the rules “The friends of my friends are my friends; the enemies of my friends are my enemies”. Networks generated from this model are then analyzed, and many properties about the general class of these networks are proven, including average distances, spectral properties, and chromatic number. The paper has been accepted and will appear later this year.

Significance and Impact

The study of real-world networks is a burgeoning field which has inspired many research projects. This paper simulates networks according to a reasonable set of assumptions about how these networks arise, and it also analyzes the synthetic networks from a rigorous mathematical perspective. Insight into the networks generated according to the iterated local model provides insight into social contact networks such as the Facebook and Twitter network.

Research Details

  • Researchers prove properties about synthetic networks generated by a model which follows behaviors typical in social networks. 
  • Properties such as chromatic number, average distance, and spectral characteristics are observed.
  • Results are extrapolated to infer properties of real-world social networks.

Citation and DOI

Anthony Bonato, Huda Chuangpishit, Sean English, Bill Kay, Erin Meger " The Iterated Local Model For Social Networks." Discrete Applied Mathematics.


A model is introduced which follows typical social norms. Networks generated by the rule of the model are then analyzed, and theoretical properties are observed. These properties include chromatic number, average distance, and spectral properties that are of interest to network scientists who analyze real world phenomena. The paper is published in Discrete Applied Mathematics, a highly respected journal in the field.

Last Updated: May 28, 2020 - 4:01 pm