NoN’18 Scientific Overview

NetONets2018 will be the 8-th edition of a satellite to NetSci focuses on “networks on networks”. As for the previous editions, the focus will be on how different networks interact and are interdependent on each other. Netonets’18 is aimed at understanding the global features of such complex systems, with two particular scenarios in mind: Interacting Critical Infrastructures and Analysis of Multiple Interdependent Networks. Systems like telecom, water, gas, power distribution, transport and even the financial sector are networks and hence amenable of Systemic Risk, i.e. the risk of collapse of the entire system, as opposed to the risk associated with any individual entity, group or component. The meeting aims not only to analyze the inter-dependencies among Complex Networks and the intra-dependencies among the different levels of a Hierarchical Complex Network, but also to preserve a place where we bring together experts from Complex Networks and Critical Infrastructures communities. It represents an occasion to discuss the renewing of the concept of Systemic Risk and emergent behavior beyond its economic dimension, such as in semantic multiplexes and social networks. Eventually, we will be able to predict the global response of our social organizations to undesired severe events requires; as well as to exploit the potentiality of the net-o-net knowledge regardless the specific field of application.

Network science created the foundations of our understanding of complex interacting phenomena. Scaling law of infrastructural and social networks represent a primary example of this: by network science we were able to understand the power and danger of cascade failures and information propagation. However, the real world is more complex than the network models we are used to analyze. Entities flourish in multiple types and they can relate to each other in different ways. Different networks can interact and be interdependent on each other. Netonets’15 is aimed at understanding the global features of such complex systems, with two particular scenarios in mind.

The first scenario focuses on Critical Infrastructures. Systems like telecom, water, gas, power distribution, transport and even the financial sector are networks and hence amenable of Systemic Risk: the risk of collapse of the entire system, as opposed to the risk associated with any individual entity, group or component. The Critical Infrastructure Protection community has not yet benefited of the recent breakthroughs of the Complex Networks community; this meeting intends to establish a bridge between the two communities. The common ground of the future for the joint community is the assessment and understanding of  interdependent networks of networks.

The second scenario is centered on the approach to the analysis of multiple interdependent networks. Technological knowledge is presently dispersed among experts of different sectors – system operators from different industries (electric, gas, telecommunication, food chain, water supply, etc) – while researchers from different fields developed a number of different strategies to deal with these complex objects – from computer science to physics, from economics to humanities. To be exposed to these approaches and to confront one’s understanding of the potentialities of the analysis of multiple interdependent networks is key for the development of a common language to integrate the knowledge from all sectors. We believe that Complex Networks can be a common language for the needed federated approaches at both microscopic and macroscopic level. Eventually, we will be able to predict the global response of our social organisations to undesired severe events requires; as well as to exploit the potentiality of the net-o-net knowledge regardless the specific field of application.