A pinboard by
Sarah Morgan

I am a theoretical physicist, working as a postdoctoral research associate at Cambridge University.


Key papers on complex networks and network science, from a wide range of fields

From social networks to airline route maps, networks are all around us. Graph theory has existed as a branch of maths since the 1700s, but in recent years the explosion of big data available has enabled us to map real world networks in ways which were previously unimaginable. In turn, this has led to several exciting new insights- for example the realisation that networks as diverse as the world wide web and human brain networks share similar underlying properties.

More broadly, the field of complex networks fits into the wider field complexity science and has links to systems biology, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

This pinboard brings together some of the latest research on networks from a vast array of different disciplines.


Error and attack tolerance of complex networks

Abstract: Many complex systems display a surprising degree of tolerance against errors. For example, relatively simple organisms grow, persist and reproduce despite drastic pharmaceutical or environmental interventions, an error tolerance attributed to the robustness of the underlying metabolic network. Complex communication networks display a surprising degree of robustness: although key components regularly malfunction, local failures rarely lead to the loss of the global information-carrying ability of the network. The stability of these and other complex systems is often attributed to the redundant wiring of the functional web defined by the systems' components. Here we demonstrate that error tolerance is not shared by all redundant systems: it is displayed only by a class of inhomogeneously wired networks, called scale-free networks, which include the World-Wide Web, the Internet, social networks and cells. We find that such networks display an unexpected degree of robustness, the ability of their nodes to communicate being unaffected even by unrealistically high failure rates. However, error tolerance comes at a high price in that these networks are extremely vulnerable to attacks (that is, to the selection and removal of a few nodes that play a vital role in maintaining the network's connectivity). Such error tolerance and attack vulnerability are generic properties of communication networks.

Pub.: 10 Aug '00, Pinned: 08 May '17