Stability of glassy hierarchical networks

M. Zamani, L. Camargo-Forero, T. Vicsek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


The structure of interactions in most animal and human societies can be best represented by complex hierarchical networks. In order to maintain close-to-optimal function both stability and adaptability are necessary. Here we investigate the stability of hierarchical networks that emerge from the simulations of an organization type with an efficiency function reminiscent of the Hamiltonian of spin glasses. Using this quantitative approach we find a number of expected (from everyday observations) and highly non-trivial results for the obtained locally optimal networks, including, for example: (i) stability increases with growing efficiency and level of hierarchy; (ii) the same perturbation results in a larger change for more efficient states; (iii) networks with a lower level of hierarchy become more efficient after perturbation; (iv) due to the huge number of possible optimal states only a small fraction of them exhibit resilience and, finally, (v) 'attacks' targeting the nodes selectively (regarding their position in the hierarchy) can result in paradoxical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023025
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • hierarchy
  • networks
  • spin-glasses
  • stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Stability of glassy hierarchical networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this