Complex Networks: From the Genome to the Internet
Stefan Bornholdt, Universität Bremen
Complex networks consisting of many interacting units are observed in complex systems from diverse fields as, for example, traders in a stock market, molecules in the living cell, web pages in the internet, or humans in their web of social ties. From a statistical viewpoint, these networks share a number of structural features and they are all but random networks. How and why do such complex network structures emerge? Since about five years, when first studies on complex networks appeared, methods from mathematics and theoretical physics have been helping to develop models for the emergence of such network properties and contributed to an understanding of common underlying mechanisms. Complex systems that are better understood through this interdisciplinary approach range from how epidemics spread across social networks, to the robustness and vulnerability of communication networks.
Even in the molecular communication networks of the living cell we find familiar properties of other complex networks, pointing to possible universal functional principles which eventually may help understanding complex biological networks.