Scottish Universities Insight Institute : a development from the institute for advanced studies

a development from the institute for advanced studies


Complex Networks across the Natural and Technological Sciences

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

  • networksin 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.


  • Part 1: Complex networks
  • Part 2: Dynamic Properties
  • Part 3: Applications
  • Complex Networks, Open lectures

Published outputs

Research papers presented during this programme have now been published in an edited volume entitled Network Science: Complexity in Nature and Technology. Ed. Ernesto Estrada, Maria Fox, Des Higham and Gian-Luca Oppo (Springer, 2010). More details on the publishers'  website.

Programme team

Organisers of the 6 month Programme:


Documents relating to this programme, including speakers' presentations, can be found in the Document library or by clicking on the links contained in each event programme.