Emergence of Core-Peripheries in Networks


A number of important transport networks, such as the airline and trade networks of the world, exhibit a characteristic core-periphery structure, wherein a few nodes are highly interconnected and the rest of the network frays into a tree. Mechanisms underlying the emergence of core-peripheries, however, remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that a simple pruning process based on removal of underutilized links and redistribution of loads can lead to the emergence of core-peripheries. Links are assumed beneficial if they either carry a sufficiently large load or are essential for global connectivity. This incentivized redistribution process is controlled by a single parameter which balances connectivity and profit. The obtained networks exhibit a highly resilient and connected core with a frayed periphery. The balanced network shows a higher resilience than the World Airline Network or the World Trade Network, revealing a pathway towards robust structural features through pruning.

Nature Communications