Information Evolution in Complex Networks

Many biological phenomena or social events critically depend on how information evolves in complex networks. A seeming paradox of the information evolution is the coexistence of local randomness, manifested as the stochastic distortion of information content during individual-individual diffusion, and global regularity, illustrated by specific non-random patterns of information content on the network scale. The current research pursues to understand the underlying mechanisms of such coexistence. Applying network dynamics and information theory, we discover that a certain amount of information, determined by the selectivity of networks to the input information, frequently survives from random distortion. Other information will inevitably experience distortion or dissipation, whose speeds are shaped by the diversity of information selectivity in networks. The discovered laws exist irrespective of noise, but the noise accounts for their intensification. We further demonstrate the ubiquity of our discovered laws by applying them to analyze the emergence of neural tuning properties in the primary visual and medial temporal cortices of animal brains and the emergence of extreme opinions in social networks.
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