Network science has shown itself to be useful in understanding a complex system by allowing us to unearth novel and intriguing patterns among its components. It is playing a particularly integral role in understanding social systems where collaboration between people is essential. Music is one such domain, as evidenced by how its centuries-old history is filled with intriguing episodes of collaborations between its central personalities and the influences they exerted on one other. In this article, the authors present their findings in the network understanding of the landscape of collaborations in western classical music.
The authors investigate regional variations in culinary culture by constructing a flavor network of food ingredients, based on shared flavor compounds, and comparing this network to recipe data. They show that Western and Eastern cuisines differ in their compound sharing patterns. The findings show, in particular, that only Western cuisines support the hypothesis that foods sharing flavor compounds are more likely to taste well together. Using additional data the authors investigate the validity of this hypothesis further and suggest a new, more specific version of the hypothesis, which holds for a particular subset of compounds.