Hypernetwork Science: From Multidimensional Networks to Computational Topology


As data structures and mathematical objects used for complex systems modeling, hypergraphs sit nicely poised between on the one hand the world of network models, and on the other that of higher-order mathematical abstractions from algebra, lattice theory, and topology. They are able to represent complex systems interactions more faithfully than graphs and networks, while also being some of the simplest classes of systems representing topological structures as collections of multidimensional objects connected in a particular pattern. In this paper we discuss the role of (undirected) hypergraphs in the science of complex networks, and provide a mathematical overview of the core concepts needed for hypernetwork modeling, including duality and the relationship to bicolored graphs, quantitative adjacency and incidence, the nature of walks in hypergraphs, and available topological relationships and properties. We close with a brief discussion of two example applications: biomedical databases for disease analysis, and domain-name system (DNS) analysis of cyber data.

Unifying Themes in Complex Systems X