Science of Success
Human Dynamics

A network framework of cultural history

The emergent processes driving cultural history are a product of complex interactions among large numbers of individuals, determined by difficult-to-quantify historical conditions. To characterize these processes, we have reconstructed aggregate intellectual mobility over two millennia through the birth and death locations of more than 150,000 notable individuals. The tools of network and complexity theory were then used to identify characteristic statistical patterns and determine the cultural and historical relevance of deviations. The resulting network of locations provides a macroscopic perspective of cultural history, which helps us to retrace cultural narratives of Europe and North America using large-scale visualization and quantitative dynamical tools and to derive historical trends of cultural centers beyond the scope of specific events or narrow time intervals.


More publications
Junming Huang, Alexander J. Gates, Roberta Sinatra, and Albert-László Barabási

PNAS March 3, 2020 117 (9) 4609-4616

Rebecca M. Marton, Xindi Wang, Albert-László Barabási & John P. A. Ioannidis

Palgrave Communications volume 6, Article number: 43 (2020)

Xindi Wang, Burcu Yucesoy, Onur Varol, Tina Eliassi-Rad, Albert-László Barabási

EPJ Data Science 8: 31 (2019)