George T. Cantwell will be visiting Dynamica between the 14th and 18th of October

George T. Cantwell (University of Michigan) will be among us from the 14th to the 18th of October and will give a talk to the group (and any other Network Science enthusiams). The presentation will be held Tuesday the 15th of October at 13h30.

Title : Mean-field theory and beyond in complex networks

Abstract : Mean-field theory provides a simple and intuitive method for performing calculations in networks. It works particularly well for dense networks but usually fails for sparse ones. To overcome this problem, “message passing” was developed, which is conceptually similar to mean-field theory but works well on sparse networks. Unfortunately, most interesting real-world networks are neither wholly dense or sparse. Rather, they are sparse at large scales while dense locally. As a result, conventional message passing ultimately fails to provide the required corrections in many cases.

In this talk I will outline a series of successive approximations of increasing sophistication. At one end, we recover standard mean-field theory, while at the other we obtain a method that is exactly correct on all networks but too difficult to apply in practice. In between, however, we find approximations that significantly out perform standard methods while maintaining their efficiency.