Seminar by Dr Athen Ma, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London: "Rich-Cores in Networks"

PG10, Talbot Campus, BU, 23/07/2014 14:00

Dr. Athen Ma is an academic in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). She began EPSRC funded PhD research on the modelling of power-law traffic in packet networks at QMUL in 2000, published a series of journals and completed in 3 years. Dr. Ma was firstly appointed as a Research Assistant in then the Department of Electronic Engineering at QMUL, working on the EU FP5 project ADAMANT (FP5 IST/2001-39117) in 2004, then as a South China Teaching Fellow in the same year and followed by as the Distance Studies Director in 2005. She was responsible for setting up the joint Information Systems Research Centre (ISRC) between Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI) and QMUL in 2005, and helped the Centre to secure over £1 million research funding from the Macao government. She managed the overall operation of the centre, supervised research and was the line manager to 3 research staff during her time with the ISRC until 2011. Her active involvement in promoting research to the local community has led to a research exhibit at the Macao Science Centre. Her unique academic career path has allowed her to gain a diverse experience in research, working in interdisciplinary environments, collaborative research partnerships and project management. Dr. Ma became a Senior Lecturer at QMUL in 2012.

Abstract: A core comprises of a group of central and densely connected nodes which governs the overall behaviour of a network, and it is recognised as one of the key meso-scale structures in complex networks. Profiling this meso-scale structure currently relies on a limited number of methods which are often complex and parameter dependent or require a null model, and as a result, scalability issues are likely to arise when dealing with very large networks together with the need for subjective adjustment of parameters. The notion of a rich-club describes nodes which are essentially the hub of a network, as they play a dominating role in structural and functional properties. The definition of a rich-club naturally emphasises high degree nodes and divides a network into two subgroups. Here, we develop a method to characterise a rich core in networks by theoretically coupling the underlying principle of a rich-club with the escape time of a random walker. The method is fast, scalable to large networks and completely parameter free. In particular, we show that the evolution of the core in World Trade and C. elegans networks correspond to responses to historical events and key stages in the physical development respectively.