at the Doctoral Program in Complexity Sciences

Luís Ramada Pereira

Community detection and evolution in temporal networks

Networks are all around us: computer, telecommunication, biological and social systems are just a few examples of networks of entities that interact and relate to one another in some specifiable way, producing identifiable phenomena. Network science is concerned with understanding networked systems, describing their micro, meso and macro scale attributes and helping us predict their behavior.

Many networks exhibit groups of nodes that are more closely interconnected amongst themselves than with the rest of the network. These groups, referred to as clusters in graph theory or communities in network science, are usually of interest to network researchers. They usually have an over-sized impact on the network behavior and their identification is often highly useful.

More specifically, we research answers to key questions, such as:

  1. How to trace the evolution of a community?
  2. What metrics are useful to quantify evolution?
  3. What key events can be defined in the lifetime of a community beyond birth, death, split, merge, growth and shrink in a complex network?
  4. Does the emergence of key structural metrics foresee or anticipate key events?
We believe our theoretical contributions have applicability in diverse fields of study.

We are currently applying the methods we have developed to the analysis of real-life complex systems in sports science, by studying sport modalities whose practice can be expressed as a temporal network.


  • Luis Ramada Pereira, Rui J Lopes, and Jorge Louçã. Community identity in a temporal network: A taxonomy proposal. Ecological Complexity, (in press).
  • Luis Ramada Pereira, Rui J Lopes, and Jorge Louçã. Syntgen: a system to generate temporal networks with user-specified topology. Journal of Complex Networks, pages 1– 26, 2019. Access here.
  • Luis Ramada Pereira, Rui J Lopes, and Jorge Louçã. A taxonomy of community lifecycle events in temporal networks, 4th World Conference on Complex Systems (WCCS), Morocco, proceedings. 2019. Access here.


  • Luis Ramada Pereira, Rui J Lopes, and Jorge Louçã. A Soccer Game as a Clustered Temporal Network, an Analysis Based on Shared Information Distance, communication to the Complex Systems Society Conference, Singapore, 2019.