Bipartite graphs as Models of Complex Networks

Jean-Loup Guillaume and Matthieu Latapy

Physica A 371, pages 795-813, 2006. Extended abstract published in LNCS, proceedings of the 1-st international workshop on Combinatorial and Algorithmic Aspects of Networking CAAN’04, 2004, Banff, Canada

It appeared recently that the classical random graph model used to represent real-world complex networks does not capture their main properties. Since then, various attempts have been made to provide accurate models. We study here the first model which achieves the following challenges: it produces graphs which have the three main wanted properties (clustering, degree distribution, average distance), it is based on some real-world observations, and it is sufficiently simple to make it possible to prove its main properties. This model consists in sampling a random bipartite graph with prescribed degree distribution. Indeed, we show that any complex network can be viewed as a bipartite graph with some specific characteristics, and that its main properties can be viewed as consequences of this underlying structure. We also propose a growing model based on this observation.