Hierarchical synchronization in complex networks with heterogeneous degrees

Chaos. 2006 Mar;16(1):015104. doi: 10.1063/1.2150381.


We study synchronization behavior in networks of coupled chaotic oscillators with heterogeneous connection degrees. Our focus is on regimes away from the complete synchronization state, when the coupling is not strong enough, when the oscillators are under the influence of noise or when the oscillators are nonidentical. We have found a hierarchical organization of the synchronization behavior with respect to the collective dynamics of the network. Oscillators with more connections (hubs) are synchronized more closely by the collective dynamics and constitute the dynamical core of the network. The numerical observation of this hierarchical synchronization is supported with an analysis based on a mean field approximation and the master stability function.