Nodal dynamics, not degree distributions, determine the structural controllability of complex networks

  • Cowan N
  • Chastain E
  • Vilhena D
 et al. 
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Structural controllability has been proposed as an analytical framework for making predictions regarding the control of complex networks across myriad disciplines in the physical and life sciences (Liu et al., Nature:473(7346):167-173, 2011). Although the integration of control theory and network analysis is important, we argue that the application of the structural controllability framework to most if not all real-world networks leads to the conclusion that a single control input, applied to the power dominating set (PDS), is all that is needed for structural controllability. This result is consistent with the well-known fact that controllability and its dual observability are generic properties of systems. We argue that more important than issues of structural controllability are the questions of whether a system is almost uncontrollable, whether it is almost unobservable, and whether it possesses almost pole-zero cancellations.

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  • Erick ChastainRutgers - The State University of New Jersey

  • Noah J. Cowan

  • Daril A. Vilhena

  • James S. Freudenberg

  • Carl T. Bergstrom

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