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Dipartimento di Fisica e Scienze della Terra



Complex Dynamics on Networks


Networks and graphs  are the most general mathematical description of a set of elements connected pairwise by a relation. Therefore, it is not surprising that graph theory has been successfully applied to a wide range of very different disciplines, from  physics to biology, to social science, computing, psychology, economy and chemistry.
In recent times, physicists have been mainly interested in networks as models of complex systems and they have used them to describe condensed matter structures such as  disordered materials, glasses, polymers, biomolecules as well as electric circuits, communication networks, webs, statistical models of algorithms, and applications of statistical mechanics to different (non-physical) systems.
The function of networks in physics, however, is not purely descriptive. Geometry and topology have a deep influence on the physical properties of complex systems, where the presence of a large number of interacting degrees of freedom typically matters more than the interaction details. The structure of the network can indeed affect the dynamical and thermodynamical behaviour of the system it describes, and can give rise to surprising collective effects.

We are studying at the moment dynamical models for synchronization on networks and models for evolution of social networks, collaborating with the MoBS Labs at Boston Northeastern University, with the Institute  for Scientific Interchange in Torino, and with several theoretical and experimental groups in Italy, Europe and United States.