The Dynamics of a Mobile Phone Network

Cesar A. Hidalgo and C. Rodriguez-Sickert. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 387 (12): 3017-24, 2008.


The empirical study of network dynamics has been limited by the lack of longitudinal data. Here we introduce a quantitative indicator of link persistence to explore the correlations between the structure of a mobile phone network and the persistence of its links. We show that persistent links tend to be reciprocal and are more common for people with low degree and high clustering. We study the redundancy of the associations between persistence, degree, clustering and reciprocity and show that reciprocity is the strongest predictor of tie persistence. The method presented can be easily adapted to characterize the dynamics of other networks and can be used to identify the links that are most likely to survive in the future.