The control of complex networks is of paramount importance in areas as diverse as ecosystem management, emergency response and cell reprogramming. A fundamental property of networks is that perturbations to one node can affect other nodes, potentially causing the entire system to change behaviour or fail. Here we show that it is possible to exploit the same principle to control network behaviour. Our approach accounts for the nonlinear dynamics inherent to real systems, and allows bringing the system to a desired target state even when this state is not directly accessible due to constraints that limit the allowed interventions. Applications show that this framework permits reprogramming a network to a desired task, as well as rescuing networks from the brink of failure - which we illustrate through the mitigation of cascading failures in a power-grid network and the identification of potential drug targets in a signalling network of human cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)