Volume 88, Number 2, October 2009
Article Number 28001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 16 October 2009
EPL, 88 (2009) 28001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/88/28001

Desynchronization and on-off intermittency in complex networks

Xingang Wang1, Shuguang Guan2, 3, Ying-Cheng Lai4, Baowen Li5, 6 and Choy Heng Lai3, 5

1   Institute for Fusion Theory and Simulation, Zhejiang University - Hangzhou, 310027 China
2   Temasek Laboratories, National University of Singapore - 117508, Singapore
3   Beijing-Hong Kong-Singapore Joint Centre for Nonlinear & Complex Systems (Singapore), National University of Singapore - Kent Ridge, 119260, Singapore
4   Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
5   Department of Physics, National University of Singapore - 117542, Singapore
6   Center for Computational Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore - 117542, Singapore

received 20 September 2009; accepted in final form 5 October 2009; published October 2009
published online 16 October 2009

Most existing works on synchronization in complex networks concern the synchronizability and its dependence on network topology. While there has also been work on desynchronization wave patterns in networks that are regular or nearly regular, little is known about the dynamics of synchronous patterns in complex networks. We find that, when a complex network becomes desynchronized, a giant cluster of a vast majority of synchronous nodes can form. A striking phenomenon is that the size of the giant cluster can exhibit an extreme type of intermittent behavior: on-off intermittency. We articulate a physical theory to explain this behavior. This phenomenon may have implications to the evolution of real-world systems.

89.75.-k - Complex systems.
05.45.Xt - Synchronization; coupled oscillators.

© EPLA 2009