The Complex Networks programme run from January 2009 until May 2009. The programme brought together academics, industrialists, business professionals, practitioners, politicians and others. Networks arise naturally in many contexts, for example
- in the cell : connecting proteins,
- in the brain : connecting neural regions,
- in epidemiology : connecting individuals who come into contact,
- in the immune response : connecting T and dendritic cells to activate body defenses,
- in energy : connecting power suppliers and users,
- in telecommunications : connecting mobile phone users,
- in transport : connecting train stations, airports or ports,
- in the World Wide Web : connecting web pages,
- in the Internet Movie Database : connecting co-starring actors,
- in government : connecting like-voting politicians,
- in retail trade : connecting sales of different products to the same customer.
Improvements in computing power have made it possible to gather, store and analyze large data sets across many disciplines, and it is apparent that universal features and challenges exist across seemingly disparate application areas. Along with the intellectually satisfying goal of finding commonality among very different areas of application, a second, practical aim of this programme is to advance one area by injecting ideas and techniques from another.