Abstracts

Most events on this list can be tied to a specific page somewhere on the internet.  List entries contain links to such pages through the "Details".   Occasionally events have no such page or the information on it is inadequate.  In such cases I attempt to cobble together a details page myself.



Taming Complexity: Controlling Squishy Networks

Albert-László Barabási
Center of Complex Networks Research, Northeastern University
Division of Network Medicine, Harvard University

Abstract:
The ultimate proof of our understanding of biological or technological systems is reflected in our ability to control them. While control theory offers mathematical tools to steer engineered and natural systems towards a desired state, we lack a framework to control complex self-organized systems.

Here we explore the controllability of an arbitrary complex network, identifying the set of driver nodes whose time-dependent control can guide the system’s entire dynamics. We apply these tools to several real networks, unveiling how the network topology determines its controllability. Virtually all technological and biological networks must be able to control their internal processes. Given that, issues related to control deeply shape the topology and the vulnerability of real systems. Consequently, unveiling the control principles of real networks, the goal of our research, forces us to address series of fundamental questions pertaining to our understanding of complex systems.

Finally, I will illustrate the power of network-based tools by applying it to the connectome of C elegans, identifying new neurons involved in locomotion, and offering direct experimental evidence for the validity of these predictions.

Wednesday, March 8th
Pizzas start at 5:20 pm
Pierce Hall 301