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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 May 7;92(18):188701. Epub 2004 May 7.

Networks, dynamics, and modularity.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


The identification of general principles relating structure to dynamics has been a major goal in the study of complex networks. We propose that the special case of linear network dynamics provides a natural framework within which a number of interesting yet tractable problems can be defined. We report the emergence of modularity and hierarchical organization in evolved networks supporting asymptotically stable linear dynamics. Numerical experiments demonstrate that linear stability benefits from the presence of a hierarchy of modules and that this architecture improves the robustness of network stability to random perturbations in network structure. This work illustrates an approach to network science which is simultaneously structural and dynamical in nature.

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