Minimum steering node set of complex networks and its applications to biomolecular networks

Minimum steering node set of complex networks and its applications to biomolecular networks

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Many systems of interests in practices can be represented as complex networks. For biological systems, biomolecules do not perform their functions alone but interact with each other to form so-called biomolecular networks. A system is said to be controllable if it can be steered from any initial state to any other final state in finite time. The network controllability has become essential to study the dynamics of the networks and understand the importance of individual nodes in the networks. Some interesting biological phenomena have been discovered in terms of the structural controllability of biomolecular networks. Most of current studies investigate the structural controllability of networks in notion of the minimum driver node sets (MDSs). In this study, the authors analyse the network structural controllability in notion of the minimum steering node sets (MSSs). They first develop a graph-theoretic algorithm to identify the MSS for a given network and then apply it to several biomolecular networks. Application results show that biomolecules identified in the MSSs play essential roles in corresponding biological processes. Furthermore, the application results indicate that the MSSs can reflect the network dynamics and node importance in controlling the networks better than the MDSs.

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