Dynamics of Networks

  • Joe Tranquillo


This chapter explores the dynamic functions that emerge when there are multiple flows on a network. The diffusion of innovation framework, Metcalfe’s law, inhibition and its role in network balance, and the power of weak ties are all used as examples. A major focus of the chapter is on how networks are formed from the combination of structural motifs that perform particular functions. Several generic motifs are introduced along with how they perform functions that include sensing, actuating, memory, and logic. Network flows are also applied to the concepts of disease, learning, and the spread of viruses and rumors in human-created and natural systems. More provocative topics are the idea that there is a common source of origins in natural and human-created systems, what it means to be alive using the concept of autopoiesis, artificial life, and the Gaia theory. The chapter concludes with questions for either reflection or group discussion as well as resources for further exploration.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joe Tranquillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Bucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA

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