Diffusion dynamics with changing network composition

Raquel A. Baños, Javier Borge-Holthoefer, Ning Wang, Yamir Moreno, Sandra González-Bailón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze information diffusion using empirical data that tracks online communication around two instances of mass political mobilization that took place in Spain in 2011 and 2012. We also analyze protest-related communications during the year that elapsed between those protests. We compare the global properties of the topological and dynamic networks through which communication took place, as well as local changes in network composition. We show that changes in network structure underlie aggregated differences on how information diffused: an increase in network hierarchy is accompanied by a reduction in the average size of cascades. The increasing hierarchy affects not only the underlying communication topology but also the more dynamic structure of information exchange; the increase is especially noticeable amongst certain categories of nodes (or users). Our findings suggest that the relationship between the structure of networks and their function in diffusing information is not as straightforward as some theoretical models of diffusion in networks imply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4553-4568
Number of pages16
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013



  • Collective behavior
  • Information cascades
  • Online networks
  • Political communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Baños, R. A., Borge-Holthoefer, J., Wang, N., Moreno, Y., & González-Bailón, S. (2013). Diffusion dynamics with changing network composition. Entropy, 15(11), 4553-4568. https://doi.org/10.3390/e15114553