Researchers from Wroclaw University of Science of Technology, Poland together with Poznań University of Technology, Poland just published a paper in Scientific Reports on a new generic and comprehensive method to generate complex networks (incl. social networks).
The authors claim that networks are commonly created according to the priority attachment mechanism. They introduce a simple model, which uses the priority attachment to generate both synthetic and close to empirical networks. Priority attachment is a mechanism, which generalizes previously proposed mechanisms, such as small world creation or preferential attachment, but they also observe its presence in a range of real-world networks. By using priority attachment we can generate networks of very diverse topologies, as well as re-create empirical ones. An additional advantage of the priority attachment mechanism is an easy interpretation of the latent processes of network formation. The authors also designed Priority Rank: a simple network generative model based on the priority attachment mechanism. Numerical experiments carried out on both synthetic and empirical networks proved usability of the model. More details are available at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-40015-9