Pattern Formation on Networks: from Localised Activity to Turing Patterns

Nicholas McCullen, Thomas Wagenknecht

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Networks of interactions between competing species are used to model many complex systems, such as in genetics, evolutionary biology or sociology and knowledge of the patterns of activity they can exhibit is important for understanding their behaviour. The emergence of patterns on complex networks with reaction-diffusion dynamics is studied here, where node dynamics interact via diffusion via the network edges. Through the application of a generalisation of dynamical systems analysis this work reveals a fundamental connection between small-scale modes of activity on networks and localised pattern formation seen throughout science, such as solitons, breathers and localised buckling. The connection between solutions with a single and small numbers of activated nodes and the fully developed system-scale patterns are investigated computationally using numerical continuation methods. These techniques are also used to help reveal a much larger portion of of the full number of solutions that exist in the system at different parameter values. The importance of network structure is also highlighted, with a key role being played by nodes with a certain so-called optimal degree, on which the interaction between the reaction kinetics and the network structure organise the behaviour of the system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27397 (2016)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date7 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2016


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