Complex Networks

Networks are ubiquitous in today’s world. The interest and awareness of networks are not only a trend in scientific research but also a social and cultural phenomenon.

Human relationships in a society form a network which can be measured and studied: Communication networks are changing the way we live and we interact. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are redefining the ways we keep in touch. Transport networks give us access to the remotest parts of the world. The energy needed for our domestic and industrial use is supplied by electric power networks. Human survival depends on the functioning of a number of biological and ecological networks.

In complex networks, the ability to function effectively arises not from individual components of that network, but by the way they interact. This means a complex network cannot be completely understood by examining each of its parts in isolation and the structure and function of such networks are tightly coupled - function is constrained by structure and structure evolves due to function. Research into the structure, function, evolution, and design of complex networks has wide ranging applications, from epidemiological modelling to building space ships. Our researchers work on these problems individually and collaboratively, focusing on various application areas.

Research staff

Selected projects

  • Large-scale computational modelling and centrality analysis of epidemics in Australia
  • Emergence of selfishness in social systems with bounded rationality
  • Topological robustness of longitudinal networks
  • Online and offline social networks and the development of sexual agency; ARC Discovery grant 2015 - 2017; with Dr. Spring Cooper (USYD), Dr. Kath Albury (UNSW), A/Prof. Rachel Skinner (USYD) and Dr. Megan Lim (Burnet Institute)
  • Energy and resilience: trade network formation