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Eur. Phys. J. B 38, 147162 (2004) DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2004-00110-5 THE EUROPEAN
 

Summary: Eur. Phys. J. B 38, 147162 (2004)
DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2004-00110-5 THE EUROPEAN
PHYSICAL JOURNAL B
Complex networks
Augmenting the framework for the study of complex systems
L.A.N. Amarala
and J.M. Ottino
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
Received 12 November 2003
Published online 14 May 2004 c EDP Sciences, Societ`a Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2004
Abstract. We briefly describe the toolkit used for studying complex systems: nonlinear dynamics, statistical
physics, and network theory. We place particular emphasis on network theory--the topic of this special
issue--and its importance in augmenting the framework for the quantitative study of complex systems.
In order to illustrate the main issues, we briefly review several areas where network theory has led to
significant developments in our understanding of complex systems. Specifically, we discuss changes, arising
from network theory, in our understanding of (i) the Internet and other communication networks, (ii) the
structure of natural ecosystems, (iii) the spread of diseases and information, (iv) the structure of cellular
signalling networks, and (v) infrastructure robustness. Finally, we discuss how complexity requires both
new tools and an augmentation of the conceptual framework--including an expanded definition of what is
meant by a "quantitative prediction."

  

Source: Amaral, Luis A.N. - Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University

 

Collections: Physics; Biology and Medicine