Optimization of synchronization in complex clustered networks

Liang Huang, Ying-Cheng Lai, Robert A. Gatenby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


There has been mounting evidence that many types of biological or technological networks possess a clustered structure. As many system functions depend on synchronization, it is important to investigate the synchronizability of complex clustered networks. Here we focus on one fundamental question: Under what condition can the network synchronizability be optimized? In particular, since the two basic parameters characterizing a complex clustered network are the probabilities of intercluster and intracluster connections, we investigate, in the corresponding two-dimensional parameter plane, regions where the network can be best synchronized. Our study yields a quite surprising finding: a complex clustered network is most synchronizable when the two probabilities match each other approximately. Mismatch, for instance caused by an overwhelming increase in the number of intracluster links, can counterintuitively suppress or even destroy synchronization, even though such an increase tends to reduce the average network distance. This phenomenon provides possible principles for optimal synchronization on complex clustered networks. We provide extensive numerical evidence and an analytic theory to establish the generality of this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013101
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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