Encyclopedia of Systems Biology

2013 Edition
| Editors: Werner Dubitzky, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Kwang-Hyun Cho, Hiroki Yokota

Network Topology Motif

  • Guangxu JinEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9863-7_590



In complex network, network motifs are those patterns of interconnections occurring in original networks at numbers that are significantly higher than those in randomized networks (Alon 2007 and Milo et al. 2002). The interacting patterns are helpful to understand how the nodes in the network interact and how the network is constructed by the subgraphs of the interacting nodes. The subgraphs of network motifs are, thereby, considered as the simple building blocks of complex network. They are widely identified in transcription networks, neuron synaptic connection networks, ecological food webs, electronic circuits, and the World Wide Web.


  1. Alon U (2007) Network motifs: theory and experimental approaches. Nat Rev Genet 8:450–461PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Milo R, Shen-Orr S, Itzkovitz S, Kashtan N, Chklovskii D, Alon U (2002) Network motifs: simple building blocks of complex networks. Science 298:824–827PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Systems Medicine and Bioengineering, Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Program, The Methodist Hospital Research InstituteWeill Medical College, Cornell UniversityHoustonUSA