Network Science

Separating the internal and external dynamics of complex systems

The observable behavior of a complex system reflects the mechanisms governing the internal interactions between the system’s components and the effect of external perturbations. Here we show that by capturing the simultaneous activity of several of the system’s components we can separate the internal dynamics from the external fluctuations. The method allows us to systematically determine the origin of fluctuations in various real systems, finding that while the Internet and the computer chip have robust internal dynamics, highway and Web traffic are driven by external demand. As multichannel measurements are becoming the norm in most fields, the method could help uncover the collective dynamics of a wide array of complex systems.


More publications
Cristian Candia, C. Jara-Figueroa, Carlos Rodriguez-Sickert, Albert-László Barabási, and César A. Hidalgo

Nature Human Behavior 3, 82–91 (2019)

Federico Battiston, Federico Musciotto, Dashun Wang, Albert-László Barabási, Michael Szell, and Roberta Sinatra

Nature Reviews Physics 1, 89-97 (2019)