Communication Makes Networks Operate Better
Scientists have discovered that communication increases the efficiency of any network but only if the communication and subsequent action are immediate.
In research funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and by the Army Research Laboratory through the Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance, researchers were able to discover that communication increases the efficiency of any network but only if the communication and subsequent action are immediate. As reported on Courier Journal, scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute used statistical physics and network science to determine that sustained delays in communication between just two or three parts of a system can cause performance of the entire system to eventually collapse.
"Previous studies by the researchers have revealed that the minute interactions between neighboring individuals, referred to as nodes, are the foundation for overall network performance. The fast, accurate, and balanced movement of information between neighboring nodes is what prevents the birds from scattering and what allows a story to accurately spread on the web. But, as is frequently the case in real-world scenarios, what happens when the information from your neighbor is not up to date? What occurs when there are delays in the transmission or processing of the information between neighbors? The researchers utilized stochastic differential equations, a type of mathematical equation used to model the time evolution of complex systems with random variables, to determine what happens when delays are input into the system."