System crash as dynamics of complex networks. (English) Zbl 1355.92101

Summary: Complex systems, from animal herds to human nations, sometimes crash drastically. Although the growth and evolution of systems have been extensively studied, our understanding of how systems crash is still limited. It remains rather puzzling why some systems, appearing to be doomed to fail, manage to survive for a long time whereas some other systems, which seem to be too big or too strong to fail, crash rapidly. In this contribution, we propose a network-based system dynamics model, where individual actions based on the local information accessible in their respective system structures may lead to the “peculiar” dynamics of system crash mentioned above. Extensive simulations are carried out on synthetic and real-life networks, which further reveal the interesting system evolution leading to the final crash. Applications and possible extensions of the proposed model are discussed.


92D25 Population dynamics (general)
92C42 Systems biology, networks
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