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  1. Abstract

    Manga, Japanese comics, has been popular on a global scale. Social networks among characters, which are often called character networks, may be a significant contributor to their popularity. We collected data from 162 popular manga that span over 70 years and analyzed their character networks. First, we found that many of static and temporal properties of the character networks are similar to those of real human social networks. Second, the character networks of most manga are protagonist-centered such that a single protagonist interacts with the majority of other characters. Third, the character networks for manga mainly targeting boys have shifted to denser and less protagonist-centered networks and with fewer characters over decades. Manga mainly targeting girls showed the opposite trend except for the downward trend in the number of characters. The present study, which relies on manga data sampled on an unprecedented scale, paves the way for further population studies of character networks and other aspects of comics.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Water distribution networks (WDNs) expand their service areas over time. These growth dynamics are poorly understood. One facet of WDNs is that they have loops in general, and closing loops may be a functionally important process for enhancing their robustness and efficiency. We propose a growth model for WDNs that generates networks with loops and is applicable to networks with multiple water sources. We apply the proposed model to four empirical WDNs to show that it produces networks whose structure is similar to that of the empirical WDNs. The comparison between the empirical and modelled WDNs suggests that the empirical WDNs may realize a reasonable balance between cost, efficiency and robustness in terms of the network structure. We also study the design of pipe diameters based on a biological positive feedback mechanism. Specifically, we apply a model inspired by Physarum polycephalum to find moderate positive correlations between the empirical and modelled pipe diameters. The difference between the empirical and modelled pipe diameters suggests that we may be able to improve the performance of WDNs by following organizing principles of biological flow networks. 
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