Beyond the dyad: uncovering higher-order structure within cohesive animal groups

Federico Musciotto, Danai Papageorgiou, Federico Battiston, Damien Farine

Research output: Other contribution


Revealing the consequences of social structure in animal societies is largely determined by our ability to accurately estimate functionally relevant patterns of social contact among individuals. To date, studies have predominantly built up social structure from dyadic connections. However, many associations or interactions can involve more than two individuals participating together, which current approaches cannot distinguish from independent sets of dyadic connections. Here we demonstrate the application of higher-order networks to detect the central roles of dominance and sex in structuring social groups of vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum). Specifically, we find that while females and low-ranking group members engage in more dyadic interactions, males and more dominant group members are substantially more likely to be observed forming hyperlinks—edges that contain more than two individuals (e.g. a triad). These results demonstrate how higher-order networks can provide a deeper understanding of the multidimensionality in the difference of centrality among group members.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond the dyad: uncovering higher-order structure within cohesive animal groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this