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      Critical phenomena in complex networks

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          Abstract

          The combination of the compactness of networks, featuring small diameters, and their complex architectures results in a variety of critical effects dramatically different from those in cooperative systems on lattices. In the last few years, researchers have made important steps toward understanding the qualitatively new critical phenomena in complex networks. We review the results, concepts, and methods of this rapidly developing field. Here we mostly consider two closely related classes of these critical phenomena, namely structural phase transitions in the network architectures and transitions in cooperative models on networks as substrates. We also discuss systems where a network and interacting agents on it influence each other. We overview a wide range of critical phenomena in equilibrium and growing networks including the birth of the giant connected component, percolation, k-core percolation, phenomena near epidemic thresholds, condensation transitions, critical phenomena in spin models placed on networks, synchronization, and self-organized criticality effects in interacting systems on networks. We also discuss strong finite size effects in these systems and highlight open problems and perspectives.

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          Most cited references 169

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          Emergence of scaling in random networks

          Systems as diverse as genetic networks or the world wide web are best described as networks with complex topology. A common property of many large networks is that the vertex connectivities follow a scale-free power-law distribution. This feature is found to be a consequence of the two generic mechanisms that networks expand continuously by the addition of new vertices, and new vertices attach preferentially to already well connected sites. A model based on these two ingredients reproduces the observed stationary scale-free distributions, indicating that the development of large networks is governed by robust self-organizing phenomena that go beyond the particulars of the individual systems.
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            The structure and function of complex networks

             M. Newman (2003)
            Inspired by empirical studies of networked systems such as the Internet, social networks, and biological networks, researchers have in recent years developed a variety of techniques and models to help us understand or predict the behavior of these systems. Here we review developments in this field, including such concepts as the small-world effect, degree distributions, clustering, network correlations, random graph models, models of network growth and preferential attachment, and dynamical processes taking place on networks.
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              Error and attack tolerance of complex networks

              Many complex systems, such as communication networks, display a surprising degree of robustness: while key components regularly malfunction, local failures rarely lead to the loss of the global information-carrying ability of the network. The stability of these complex systems is often attributed to the redundant wiring of the functional web defined by the systems' components. In this paper we demonstrate that error tolerance is not shared by all redundant systems, but it is displayed only by a class of inhomogeneously wired networks, called scale-free networks. We find that scale-free networks, describing a number of systems, such as the World Wide Web, Internet, social networks or a cell, display an unexpected degree of robustness, the ability of their nodes to communicate being unaffected by even unrealistically high failure rates. However, error tolerance comes at a high price: these networks are extremely vulnerable to attacks, i.e. to the selection and removal of a few nodes that play the most important role in assuring the network's connectivity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2007-04-30
                2007-11-16
                Article
                10.1103/RevModPhys.80.1275
                0705.0010
                Custom metadata
                Rev. Mod. Phys. 80, 1275 (2008)
                Review article, 79 pages, 43 figures, 1 table, 508 references, extended
                cond-mat.stat-mech cs.NI math-ph math.MP physics.soc-ph

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