Triadic closure describes the tendency for new friendships to form between individuals who already have friends in common. It has been argued heuristically that the triadic closure effect can lead to bistability in the formation of large-scale social interaction networks. Here, depending on the initial state and the transient dynamics, the system may evolve towards either of two long-time states. In this work, we propose and study a hierarchy of network evolution models that incorporate triadic closure, building on the work of Grindrod, Higham, and Parsons [Internet Mathematics, 8, 2012, 402--423]. We use a chemical kinetics framework, paying careful attention to the reaction rate scaling with respect to the system size. In a macroscale regime, we show rigorously that a bimodal steady-state distribution is admitted. This behavior corresponds to the existence of two distinct stable fixed points in a deterministic mean-field ODE. The macroscale model is also seen to capture an apparent metastability property of the microscale system. Computational simulations are used to support the analysis.
- Pub Date:
- November 2021
- Computer Science - Social and Information Networks;
- Mathematics - Dynamical Systems;
- Mathematics - Numerical Analysis;
- 20 pages, 9 figures