Synchronization in complex networks with a modular structure

Kwangho Park, Ying-Cheng Lai, Saurabh Gupte, Jong Won Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Networks with a community (or modular) structure arise in social and biological sciences. In such a network individuals tend to form local communities, each having dense internal connections. The linkage among the communities is, however, much more sparse. The dynamics on modular networks, for instance synchronization, may be of great social or biological interest. (Here by synchronization we mean some synchronous behavior among the nodes in the network, not, for example, partially synchronous behavior in the network or the synchronizability of the network with some external dynamics.) By using a recent theoretical framework, the master-stability approach originally introduced by Pecora and Carroll in the context of synchronization in coupled nonlinear oscillators, we address synchronization in complex modular networks. We use a prototype model and develop scaling relations for the network synchronizability with respect to variations of some key network structural parameters. Our results indicate that random, long-range links among distant modules is the key to synchronization. As an application we suggest a viable strategy to achieve synchronous behavior in social networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number015105
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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