Sensitivity of Complex Networks

Marco Tulio Angulo, Gabor Lippner, Yang-Yu Liu, Albert-László Barabási

The sensitivity (i.e. dynamic response) of complex networked systems has not been well understood, making difficult to predict whether new macroscopic dynamic behavior will emerge even if we know exactly how individual nodes behave and how they are coupled. Here we build a framework to quantify the sensitivity of complex networked system of coupled dynamic units. We characterize necessary and sufficient conditions for the emergence of new macroscopic dynamic behavior in the thermodynamic limit. We prove that these conditions are satisfied only for architectures with power-law degree distributions. Surprisingly, we find that highly connected nodes (i.e. hubs) only dominate the sensitivity of the network up to certain critical frequency.

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