– We live in the age of networks and everything is
determined by networks. The physics offer a way to understand how they
all follow the same principles, says Albert-László Barabási, professor
of network science.
As a guest speaker during Fysikdagarna in Gothenburg he will take us on an exciting journey into network science.
Complex technical systems, for example the world wide web, are very much alike biological organisms. Just like the cells in our bodies the systems can organise themselves and develop
Albert-László Barabási’s interest in networks started many years back when he worked for IBM in New York.
– In the beginning nobody thought this was worth studying. It took me four years before I could get my first paper accepted by a journal.
That was back in 1999. Since then a lot of things have changed and Albert-László Barabási has now published five books, written many scientific articles and is a popular speaker worldwide.
– The good thing about this subject is that it’s possible to talk about it in different levels. Everyone can relate to networks – whether you are a physicist or not.
In Gothenburg Albert-László Barabási was introduced to the audience by professor Tünde Fülöp at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.
– He is an exceptional scientist with revolutionary insights. His presentations are mind blowing and very inspiring. Although the field of network science is highly interdisciplinary - it has its roots in physics as it uses concepts and methods developed by statistical physicists, says Tünde Fülöp.
Albert-László Barabási about…
... his driving force: I’m curious – about nature, society and about exploring complex systems.
…his hidden skills and weakness: I have a good intuition for physics and that has been driving my work – and that also compensates for my lack of mathematical strength.
… his countries: I’m Hungarian and from Transylvania. I share my time between Budapest and Boston. I also have spent much time in Sweden since my ex-wife is from Lund. I really like Sweden – I even considered moving to Lund, before starting my PHD in Boston.
… his choice to become a physicist: When I was 14 I was the only one in the class that passed the first physics test at school. I got confidence and I started to read everything that I could find in the library.
Abstract of his talk in Gothenburg: Systems
as diverse as the world wide web, Internet or the cell are described by
highly interconnected networks with amazingly complex topology. Recent
studies indicate that these networks are the result of self-organizing
processes governed by simple but generic laws, resulting in
architectural features that makes them much more similar to each other
than one would have expected by chance. I will discuss the order
characterizing our interconnected world and its implications to network
robustness, and control. Indeed, while control theory offers
mathematical tools to steer engineered and natural systems towards a
desired state, we lack a framework to control complex self-organized
systems. I will discuss a recently developed analytical framework to
study the controllability of an arbitrary complex directed network,
identifying the set of driver