Networks with a community (or modular) structure arise in social and biological sciences. In such a network individuals tend to form local communities, each having dense internal connections. The linkage among the communities is, however, much more sparse. The dynamics on modular networks, for instance synchronization, may be of great social or biological interest. (Here by synchronization we mean some synchronous behavior among the nodes in the network, not, for example, partially synchronous behavior in the network or the synchronizability of the network with some external dynamics.) By using a recent theoretical framework, the master-stability approach originally introduced by Pecora and Carroll in the context of synchronization in coupled nonlinear oscillators, we address synchronization in complex modular networks. We use a prototype model and develop scaling relations for the network synchronizability with respect to variations of some key network structural parameters. Our results indicate that random, long-range links among distant modules is the key to synchronization. As an application we suggest a viable strategy to achieve synchronous behavior in social networks. (C) 2006 American Institute of Physics.
- community structure