Strong synchronisation in complex systems has been linked to pathological conditions such as epileptic seizures, ecological extinction and social catastrophes in the form of epidemics. To avoid such situations, complex systems need to be both robust and flexible. To better understand synchronisation levels in complex systems, scientists initiated the project HUBSYNC (Synchronization in heterogeneous networks). They successfully developed a mathematical theory to represent onset of structured synchronisation in heterogeneous networks of interacting dynamic systems. Project outcomes proved particularly useful in understanding the effect of network connectivity on network dynamics. Studies revealed how microscopic network parameters such as node degree and frequency affect the global network properties. Some key results include the finding that structural improvements in directed networks such as the electrical synapses in neuron networks can lead to functional failures. They were also able to describe cluster formation in modular networks. Project activities have resulted in an impressive list of publications. Already, other researchers have explored connections between network structure and function using HUBSYNC's mathematical approaches. Besides deciphering emerging spontaneous collective motion in complex systems, study outcomes have several applications across different fields. For instance, network design and control could be applied to neural networks or electronic circuits.
Synchronisation, complex systems, hub synchronisation, heterogeneous networks, network design