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An OpenSource python package for the analysis and visualisation of time series data on complex networks with higher- and multi-order graphical models.

Project description


pathpy is an OpenSource python package for the analysis of time
series data on networks using higher- and multi-order network models.

pathpy is specifically tailored to analyse temporal networks as
well as time series and sequence data that capture multiple short,
independent paths observed in an underlying graph or network.
Examples for data that can be analysed with pathpy include time-stamped
social networks, user click streams in information networks, biological
pathways, citation networks, or information cascades in social networks.

Unifying the modelling and analysis of path statistics and temporal networks,
pathpy provides efficient methods to extract causal or time-respecting paths from
time-stamped network data. The current package distributed via the PyPI name
pathpy2 supersedes the packages pyTempnets as well as version 1.0 of pathpy.

pathpy facilitates the analysis of temporal correlations in time
series data on networks. It uses model selection and statistical
learning to generate optimal higher- and multi-order models that capture both
topological and temporal characteristics. It can help to answer the important
question when a network abstraction of complex systems is
justified and when higher-order representations are needed instead.

The theoretical foundation of this package, higher- and multi-order network
models, was developed in the following published works:

1. I Scholtes: When is a network a network? Multi-Order Graphical Model
Selection in Pathways and Temporal Networks, In KDD'17 - Proceedings
of the 23rd ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and
Data Mining, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, August 13-17, 2017
2. I Scholtes, N Wider, A Garas: Higher-Order Aggregate Networks in the
Analysis of Temporal Networks: Path structures and centralities
In The European Physical Journal B, 89:61, March 2016
3. I Scholtes, N Wider, R Pfitzner, A Garas, CJ Tessone, F Schweitzer:
Causality-driven slow-down and speed-up of diffusion in
non-Markovian temporal networks, In Nature Communications, 5, September 2014
4. R Pfitzner, I Scholtes, A Garas, CJ Tessone, F Schweitzer:
Betweenness preference: Quantifying correlations in the topological
dynamics of temporal networks, Phys Rev Lett, 110(19), 198701, May 2013

pathpy extends higher-order modelling approaches towards multi-order models
for paths that capture temporal correlations at multiple length scales
simultaneously. All mathematical details of the framework can be found in the
openly available preprint at

A broader view on higher-order models in the analyis of complex systems can be
found at

pathpy is fully integrated with jupyter, providing rich and interactive in-line
visualisations of networks, temporal networks, higher-, and multi-order models.
Visualisations can be exported to HTML5 files that can be shared and published
onthe Web.

Download and installation

pathpy is pure python code. It has no platform-specific dependencies
and should thus work on all platforms. pathpy requires python 3.x.
It builds on numpy and scipy. The latest release version 2.0 of pathpy
can be installed by typing:

pip install pathpy2

Please make sure that you use the pyPI name pathpy2 as the package name pathpy is currently blocked.


A comprehensive 3 hour hands-on tutorial that shows how you can use pathpy
to analyse data on pathways and temporal networks is available online at:

An explanatory video that introduces the science behind pathpy is available here:

A promotional video showcasing some of pathpy's features is available here:


The code is fully documented via docstrings which are accessible through
python's built-in help system. Just type help(SYMBOL_NAME) to see
the documentation of a class or method. A reference manual is available

Releases and Versioning

The first public beta release of pathpy (released February 17 2017) is
v1.0-beta. Following versions are named MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH according to semantic
versioning. The current version is 2.0.0.

Known Issues

- Depending on whether or not scipy has been compiled
with or without the numerics package MKL, considerable
numerical differences can occur, e.g. for eigenvalue
centralities, PageRank, and other measures that depend
on the eigenvectors and eigenvalues of matrices.
Please refer to scipy.show_config() to show compilation flags.
- Interactive visualisations in jupyter are currently only
supported for juypter notebooks, stand-alone HTML files,
and the jupyter display integrated in IDEs like Visual
Studio Code (which we highly recommend to work with pathpy).
Due to its new widget mechanism, interactive d3js
visualisations are currently not available for jupyterLab.
Due to the complex document object model generated by
jupyter notebooks, visualisation performance is best in
stand-alone HTML files and in Visual Studio Code.
- The visualisation of temporal networks currently does
not support the drawing of edge arrows for directed
edges. However, a powerful templating mechanism is
available to support custom interactive and dynamic
visualizations of temporal networks.
- The visualisation of paths in terms of alluvial diagrams
within jupyter is currently unstable for networks with
large delay. This is due to the asynchronous loading of
external scripts.


The research behind this data analysis framework was generously funded by the Swiss
State Secretariate for Education, Research and Innovation via Grant C14.0036.
The development of the predecessor package pyTempNets was further supported by the MTEC
Foundation in the context of the project "The Influence of Interaction Patterns on
Success in Socio-Technical Systems: From Theory to Practice."

The further development of pathpy is currently supported by the
Swiss National Science Foundation via Grant 176938. See details at:


Ingo Scholtes (project lead, development)
Luca Verginer (development, test suite integration)

Past Contributors
Roman Cattaneo (development)
Nicolas Wider (testing)


pathpy is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public
License. See

(c) ETH Zürich & University of Zurich, 2015 - 2018


2.0.0 (2018-08-17)

* PyPi Release of 2.0 release version.

2.0.0a (2018-08-07)

* First public release of 2.0 alpha on PyPI.

1.2.1 (2018-02-23)

* First test release on PyPI.

Project details

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