Summary: Eur. Phys. J. B 38, 143145 (2004)
DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2004-00109-x THE EUROPEAN
PHYSICAL JOURNAL B
Virtual Round Table on ten leading questions for network
The following discussion is an edited summary of the public debate started during the conference "Growing Networks
and Graphs in Statistical Physics, Finance, Biology and Social Systems" held in Rome in September 2003. Drafts doc-
uments were circulated electronically among experts in the field and additions and follow-up to the original discussion
have been included. Among the scientists participating to the discussion L.A.N. Amaral, A. Barrat, A.L. Barabasi, G.
Caldarelli, P. De Los Rios, A. Erzan, B. Kahng, R. Mantegna, J.F.F. Mendes, R. Pastor-Satorras, A. Vespignani are
acknowledged for their contributions and editing.
The last few years have witnessed a tremendous activity devoted to the characterization and understanding of net-
worked systems. Indeed large complex networks arise in a vast number of natural and artificial systems. Ecosystems
consist of species whose interdependency can be mapped into intricate food webs. Social systems may be represented
by graphs describing various interactions among individuals. The Internet and the World-Wide-Web (WWW) are
prototypical examples of self-organized networks emerging in the technological world. Large infrastructures such as
power grids and the air transportation network are critical networked systems of our modern society. Finally, the
living cell is not an exception either, its organization and function being the outcome of a complex web of interactions
among genes, proteins and other molecules.
For a long time all these systems have been considered as haphazard set of points and connections, mathematically