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Publication Detail
Exploring complex networks via topological embedding on surfaces
We demonstrate that graphs embedded on surfaces are a powerful and practical tool to generate, characterize and simulate networks with a broad range of properties. Remarkably, the study of topologically embedded graphs is non-restrictive because any network can be embedded on a surface with sufficiently high genus. The local properties of the network are affected by the surface genus which, for example, produces significant changes in the degree distribution and in the clustering coefficient. The global properties of the graph are also strongly affected by the surface genus which is constraining the degree of interwoveness, changing the scaling properties from large-world-kind (small genus) to small- and ultra-small-world-kind (large genus). Two elementary moves allow the exploration of all networks embeddable on a given surface and naturally introduce a tool to develop a statistical mechanics description. Within such a framework, we study the properties of topologically-embedded graphs at high and low `temperatures' observing the formation of increasingly regular structures by cooling the system. We show that the cooling dynamics is strongly affected by the surface genus with the manifestation of a glassy-like freezing transitions occurring when the amount of topological disorder is low.
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