Self-similar community structure in a network of human interactions

R. Guimerà*, Leon Danon, A. Díaz-Guilera, F. Giralt, A. Arenas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1051 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a procedure for analyzing and characterizing complex networks. We apply this to the social network as constructed from email communications within a medium sized university with about 1700 employees. Email networks provide an accurate and nonintrusive description of the flow of information within human organizations. Our results reveal the self-organization of the network into a state where the distribution of community sizes is self-similar. This suggests that a universal mechanism, responsible for emergence of scaling in other self-organized complex systems, as, for instance, river networks, could also be the underlying driving force in the formation and evolution of social networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065103
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
Early online date17 Dec 2003
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


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