Network dynamics: jamming is limited in scale-free systems

Nature. 2004 Apr 15;428(6984):716. doi: 10.1038/428716a.


A large number of complex networks are scale-free--that is, they follow a power-law degree distribution. Here we propose that the emergence of many scale-free networks is tied to the efficiency of transport and flow processing across these structures. In particular, we show that for large networks on which flows are influenced or generated by gradients of a scalar distributed on the nodes, scale-free structures will ensure efficient processing, whereas structures that are not scale-free, such as random graphs, will become congested.