Emergence of bimodality in controlling complex networks

Our ability to control complex systems is a fundamental challenge of contemporary science. Recently introduced tools to identify the driver nodes, nodes through which we can achieve full control, predict the existence of multiple control configurations, prompting us to classify each node in a network based on their role in control. Accordingly a node is critical, intermittent or redundant if it acts as a driver node in all, some or none of the control configurations. Here we develop an analytical framework to identify the category of each node, leading to the discovery of two distinct control modes in complex systems: centralized versus distributed control. We predict the control mode for an arbitrary network and show that one can alter it through small structural perturbations. The uncovered bimodality has implications from network security to organizational research and offers new insights into the dynamics and control of complex systems.


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Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society 371, 1-3 (2013)

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Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 12, 3398-3408 (2013)

Y.-Y. Liu, J.-J. Slotine, A.-L. Barabási

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110, 1-6 (2013)