Attacks of modular networks

Saray Shai, UNC, Department of Mathematics
Modularity is a key organization principle in many systems around us. Social, technological and biological systems are organized into cohesive groups of elements, called modules. The relatively sparse interactions between the modules are critical to the functionality of the system, and are often the first to fail, as for example the case in neuronal networks where aging and schizophrenia could result in a damage to the interconnected nodes. Here we quantify the implications of such failures to the resilience of multi-scale modular systems. We find analytically a "tipping point'', which distinct between two regimes. In one regime, the modules remain functional but become disconnected, while in the other regime the modules themselves are damaged causing the system to collapse. Our model provides insights into the role modularity plays in real world systems, while considering advanced types of attacks that address the multilevel nature of the system.
March, 2 2015 | 12:30 - 14:00 | Gross Hall 230E

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