Jonathan A. Ward

We derive explicit formulae to quantify the Markov chain state-space compression, or lumping, that can be achieved in a broad range of dynamical processes on real-world networks, including models of epidemics and voting behaviour, by exploiting redundancies due to symmetries. These formulae are applied in a large-scale study of such symmetry-induced lumping in real-world networks, from which we identify specific networks for which lumping enables exact analysis that could not have been done on the full state-space. For most networks, lumping gives a state-space compression ratio of up to ${10}^{7}$, but the largest compression ratio identified is nearly ${10}^{12}$. Many of the highest compression ratios occur in animal social networks. We also present examples of types of symmetry found in real-world networks that have not been previously reported.