Controlling Networks by Design

21 Mar 2014 Engineering Systems and Design Network and Control Theory

Justin Ruths

Network models are often used to represent large-scale systems across a diverse range of applications, including finance, neuroscience, biochemistry and social dynamics. The ability to control these networks will enable the prevention of catastrophes such as stock crashes and epidemics. This concept functions by driving natural or synthetic systems to act in a desired way. With network controlling tools, system architects will be able to build better systems, while decision-makers in both public and private sectors will be empowered to make critical changes to their respective systems, avoiding undesirable scenarios.

An example of (left) a simple directed network and (right) one of the possible minimum control structures, constructed of stems (blue) and cycles (purple and green). 

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