Scalable Control of Large Networks

November 03, 2023, ESB 2001

Adilson Motter


The control of large-scale networks is a pressing problem of relevance to numerous natural and engineered systems. Despite recent advances in network and control science, there has been a lack of fundamental understanding of the network properties that can enable efficient and effective control of such systems. In this presentation, I will introduce a notion of network locality and demonstrate that the property of being localized is common across numerous network systems. I will then show that this property can be exploited to dramatically improve our ability to control large-scale networks, including networks with nonlinear dynamics. Our results establish that large networks can be controlled with computation and communication costs comparable to those of small networks.

Speaker's Bio

Adilson E. Motter is a Chaired Professor of Physics and Director of the Center for Network Dynamics at Northwestern University. He has served as an Executive Committee member of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and a Science Board member of the Santa Fe Institute. Prior to joining the Northwestern faculty, he held positions as Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Nonlinear Studies of Los Alamos National Lab and as Guest Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems. A former Chair of the APS Statistical and Nonlinear Physics unit, he is the current President of the Network Science Society. <br>Motter’s research is focused on the dynamics of complex systems and networks, including synchronization dynamics, cascading failures, network control, and network symmetry phenomena. Applications of his work include quantum network science, power grids and energy systems, microfluidic and metamaterial networks, coupled laser systems, and data-driven discovery in biomedical problems. His research awards include a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, the Erdős-Rényi Prize in Network Science, the Senior Scientific Award of the Complex Systems Society, and a Simons Foundation Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Network Science Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science.<br>Group webpage:

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