Basic definitions

A complex system is formed by many elements that interact locally, and, owing to this interaction, an emergent behavior arise at the global scale. Moreover, the emergence of these collective phenomena cannot be explained by adding up the contribution of each isolated small unit: complex systems cannot be understood with the principle of superposition. On the contrary, we face scenarios in which different space and time scales are coupled and the degrees of freedom compete between them, thereby resulting in highly nonlinear scenarios that are hard to tackle.
A network is a mathematical object composed by a set of nodes and links. Network science is devoted to the study of networks, in a broad sense: from topological characterization to dynamical processes running on top of them. Networks provide a very useful framework to study complex systems: the individual units are the nodes, and the interactions are denoted by the links.

Back to main page