Albert-László Barabási

Theoretical Condensed Matter and Biological Physics

Albert-László Barabási

Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science
Director, Center for Complex Network Research
PhD Boston University, 1994

Research Summary:

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.

Recent Publications:

Network Medicine: A Network-based Approach to Human Disease,” A.-L. Barabási, N. Gulbahce, J. Loscalzo, Nature Reviews Genetics 12, 56-68 (2011).

Information Spreading in Context,” D. Wang, Z. Wen, H. Tong, C.-Y. Lin, C. Song, A.-L. Barabási, Proceeding for the 20th International World Wide Web Conference, 2011 1-10 (2011).

Controllability of Complex Networks,” Y.-Y. Liu, J.-J. Slotine, A.-L. Barabási . Nature, 43, 123-248 (2011).

Human Mobility, Social Ties, and Link Prediction,” D. Wang, D. Pedreschi, C. Song, F. Giannotti, A.-L. Barabasi, ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD), (2011).

Ranking Stability and Super-stable Nodes in Complex Networks,” G. Ghoshal, A.-L. Barabási, Nature Communications 2, 1-7 (2011) [Supplementary Materials].

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