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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jul 15;107(3):034102. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Robustness of optimal synchronization in real networks.

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  • 1Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.


Experimental studies can provide powerful insights into the physics of complex networks. Here, we report experimental results on the influence of connection topology on synchronization in fiber-optic networks of chaotic optoelectronic oscillators. We find that the recently predicted nonmonotonic, cusplike synchronization landscape manifests itself in the rate of convergence to the synchronous state. We also observe that networks with the same number of nodes, same number of links, and identical eigenvalues of the coupling matrix can exhibit fundamentally different approaches to synchronization. This previously unnoticed difference is determined by the degeneracy of associated eigenvectors in the presence of noise and mismatches encountered in real-world conditions.

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