Generative models of simultaneously heavy-tailed distributions of interevent times on nodes and edges

Elohim Fonseca Dos Reis, Aming Li, Naoki Masuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Intervals between discrete events representing human activities, as well as other types of events, often obey heavy-tailed distributions, and their impacts on collective dynamics on networks such as contagion processes have been intensively studied. The literature supports that such heavy-tailed distributions are present for interevent times associated with both individual nodes and individual edges in networks. However, the simultaneous presence of heavy-tailed distributions of interevent times for nodes and edges is a nontrivial phenomenon, and its origin has been elusive. In the present study, we propose a generative model and its variants to explain this phenomenon. We assume that each node independently transits between a high-activity and low-activity state according to a continuous-time two-state Markov process and that, for the main model, events on an edge occur at a high rate if and only if both end nodes of the edge are in the high-activity state. In other words, two nodes interact frequently only when both nodes prefer to interact with others. The model produces distributions of interevent times for both individual nodes and edges that resemble heavy-tailed distributions across some scales. It also produces positive correlation in consecutive interevent times, which is another stylized observation for empirical data of human activity. We expect that our modeling framework provides a useful benchmark for investigating dynamics on temporal networks driven by non-Poissonian event sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052303
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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