Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

University Distinguished Professor Email: Phone: 617.373.7774


Ph.D., Boston University, 1994

Area(s) of Expertise

Theoretical Condensed Matter and Biological Physics

Research Interests

Just about every field of research is confronted with networks. Metabolic and genetic networks describe how proteins, substrates and genes interact in a cell; social networks quantify the interactions between people in the society; the Internet is a complex web of computers; ecological systems are best described as a web of species. In all these fields the detailed knowledge of the components is insufficient to describe the whole system. Since 1960, when Paul Erdös introduced the influential random graph theory, complex networks have been modeled as fundamentally random graphs. Our work has mounted a serious challenge to this view. By investigating the topology of the World Wide Web, Internet, cellular and social networks, we discovered that networks in nature follow a common blueprint, having scale-free characteristics. These results represent a significant paradigm shift: scale-free networks and the associated dynamic network modeling are a completely unexpected turn of events with a strong impact on every research area for which networks are relevant. We are currently exploring a wide range of network structures, asking questions pertaining to the error and attack tolerance of complex networks, their robustness, and trying to address the dynamics of networks in general. We are also pursuing a strong research program applying network theory to biological systems, aiming to uncover the inner chemical architecture of the cell.

Lab Website



504 Dana Research Center

Groundbreaking research maps cultural history

New research from Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research presents a pioneering approach to understanding European and North American cultural history by mapping out the mobility patterns of notable intellectuals over a 2,000-year span.

Three COS Faculty Honored As “Highly Cited Researchers”

The faculty members appear on Thomson Reuters’ “Highly Cited Researchers 2014″ list.

Brilliant and motivated, but a good hire?

Albert-László Barabási, a world-​​renowned net­work sci­en­tist and Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor of Physics at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, is the inau­gural Robert Gray Dodge Pro­fessor of Net­work Sci­ence.

Researchers use science to predict success

Like the rest of the aca­d­emic com­mu­nity, physi­cists rely on var­ious quan­ti­ta­tive fac­tors to deter­mine whether a researcher will enjoy long-​​term suc­cess.

A kid in a network shop

There are some ques­tions that you don’t need to be a sci­en­tist to ask. You need to be a little kid.

A wiring diagram for disease

The human genome is a vast parts list for the inner works of our biology.

Science of Success — Why are people actually successful?

Albert-László Barabási fielded questions about how someone or something becomes successful – it’s not always because he or it is the best.

How to quantify success

A growing number of researchers have begun devel­oping cre­ative ways to mea­sure suc­cess from a quan­ti­ta­tive point of view

Researchers to explore the ‘Science of Success’

We once thought it took a genius to be suc­cessful, but this is simply not the case.

Researchers transcend boundaries for science

Throughout the 179th annual meeting of the Amer­ican Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence, North­eastern fac­ulty led pre­sen­ta­tions high­lighting their work to address real-​​world chal­lenges in areas ranging from health to tech­nology to sus­tain­ability.

Complex systems made simple

Just as the name implies, com­plex sys­tems are dif­fi­cult to tease apart. An organism’s genome, a bio­chem­ical reac­tion, or even a social net­work all con­tain many inter­de­pen­dent components—and changing any one of them can have per­va­sive effects on all the others.