Instability of Multilayer Networks Induced by Inter-Layer Coupling

Hyobin Kim, Farnaz Zamani Esfahlani, Samuel Heiserman, Nasim Nezamoddini, Hiroki Sayama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


Most real-world complex systems consist of multiple subsystems that interact with each other, which can be represented as multilayer networks. Implications of such multilayer topologies have been studied for system robustness, cascading failures, reaction-diffusion dynamics, etc. Meanwhile, limited attention has been paid to the effects of inter-layer coupling on the dynamical stability of multilayer networks. Here we study the stability of multilayer networks and its relationships with the stabilities of networks within individual layers. Specifically, we generated two random networks following the method of May's random ecological network model, and then coupled them to create a random multilayer network. Two parameters were systematically varied: the strength of within-layer connections, and the strength of inter-layer coupling. Stabilities of those networks were evaluated by calculating eigenvalues of their weighted adjacency matrices. We found that the whole multilayer network became destabilized by sufficiently strong inter-layer coupling even if within-layer connections were adjusted so that individual networks were stable. Also, the network instability induced by inter-layer coupling was manifested as the network size of individual networks increases. Our study illustrates that the strength of inter-layer coupling plays a critical role in determining the stability of the entire system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728124858
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2019 - Xiamen, China
Duration: 2019 Dec 62019 Dec 9

Publication series

Name2019 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2019


Conference2019 IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, SSCI 2019


  • dynamical stability
  • inter-layer coupling
  • multilayer networks
  • supra- adjacency matrix
  • within-layer connections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modelling and Simulation


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