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Higher-Order Networks and Dynamics

Project description

Elucidating the role of nonlinear higher-order interactions in complex networks

Networks are often seen as combinations of linearly connected pairs of nodes or units. However, most networks, from the brain’s interconnected cells to social networks spreading disease, involve nonlinear higher-order interactions between more than two units. These interactions are essential in modulating the collective dynamical behaviour of all units within a network. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the BeyondTheEdge project will establish its own network, integrating multiple disciplines and sectors, to train PhD students in investigating and advancing these topics. Specifically, the training network aims to elucidate the role of non-pairwise higher-order interactions in the emergence of complex dynamical behaviour in networks of interacting units.


Many systems that govern our everyday lives—from communication networks to the human brain—can be seen as networks of interconnected units. Traditionally, networks are equated with graphs where edges give pairwise relations between two units. However, in network dynamical systems, nonlinear higher-order interactions between more than two units often play a critical role in shaping the collective dynamical behaviour of all units: For example, the spread of a disease depends not only on our behaviour as pairs of individuals but also how we behave in groups of more than two. Thus, elucidating the role of these higher-order interactions is critical to understand and control the dynamics of complex systems that determine our lives and livelihoods, whether it is the spreading of a disease or the proper functioning of the human brain as a network of billions of neurons.

The doctoral network BeyondTheEdge will identify the role of nonpairwise higher-order interactions in the emergence of complex dynamical behaviour of networks of interacting units. BeyondTheEdge brings together key researchers in an international network that is interdisciplinary (from mathematics to neuroscience) and intersectorial (including academia, private research institutes, and industry) to develop new mathematical insights relevant for real-world problems. BeyondTheEdge will train a cohort of 10 PhD students through research, education, and complementary skills training. This will enable the PhD students to innovate, collaborate, and become leading professionals in academia, industry, or the public sector: Innovative training activities will ensure that all PhD students can apply their skills beyond the academic context and put them in perspective of the wider world. Supervisor training activities ensure that the more junior project partners can shape the PhD education of the future. Thus, BeyondTheEdge will make a lasting contribution that will far outlive the duration of the project.


Net EU contribution
€ 548 740,80
1081 HV Amsterdam

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Participants (8)

Partners (9)