Inferring topologies of complex networks with hidden variables
Network topology plays a crucial role in determining a network's intrinsic dynamics and function, thus understanding and modeling the topology of a complex network will lead to greater knowledge of its evolutionary mechanisms and to a better understanding of its behaviors. In the past few years, topology identification of complex networks has received increasing interest and wide attention. Many approaches have been developed for this purpose, including synchronization-based identification, information-theoretic methods, and intelligent optimization algorithms. However, inferring interaction patterns from observed dynamical time series is still challenging, especially in the absence of knowledge of nodal dynamics and in the presence of system noise. The purpose of this work is to present a simple and efficient approach to inferring the topologies of such complex networks. The proposed approach is called “piecewise partial Granger causality.” It measures the cause-effect connections of nonlinear time series influenced by hidden variables. One commonly used testing network, two regular networks with a few additional links, and small-world networks are used to evaluate the performance and illustrate the influence of network parameters on the proposed approach. Application to experimental data further demonstrates the validity and robustness of our method.