Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
We present methods for analysing hierarchical and overlapping community structure and spreading phenomena on complex networks. Different models can be developed for describing static connectivity or dynamical processes on a network topology. In this study, classical network connectivity and influence spreading models are used as examples for network models. Analysis of results is based on a probability matrix describing interactions between all pairs of nodes in the network. One popular research area has been detecting communities and their structure in complex networks. The community detection method of this study is based on optimising a quality function calculated from the probability matrix. The same method is proposed for detecting underlying groups of nodes that are building blocks of different sub-communities in the network structure. We present different quantitative measures for comparing and ranking solutions of the community detection algorithm. These measures describe properties of sub-communities: strength of a community, probability of formation and robustness of composition. The main contribution of this study is proposing a common methodology for analysing network structure and dynamics on complex networks. We illustrate the community detection methods with two small network topologies. In the case of network spreading models, time development of spreading in the network can be studied. Two different temporal spreading distributions demonstrate the methods with three real-world social networks of different sizes. The Poisson distribution describes a random response time and the e-mail forwarding distribution describes a process of receiving and forwarding messages.