Understanding Zargham — What are complex network systems?

In getting the mental picture of complex network systems, Michael Zargham uses a holistic approach, starting with a focus on flows and structure.

The components of complex network systems


Michael Zargham breaks complex network systems down into seven components:


A network characterizes structure. It is the way things interact with each other.

Systems theory

We use systems theory to understand the flow of things through the network structure.

Nonlinear dynamics

When we bring ourselves into the system, we need to think about how the world works in non-linear systems.

Game theory

Game theory and mechanism design is usually how we examine and model our own (human) interactions with the complex network system.

Pattern formation

As we study and build these systems, we can identify patterns that emerge.

Collective behavior

In combination, these patterns may well constitute collective behavior.

Evolution & Adaptation

And finally, if we look long enough, we can see patterns and collective behavior change (grow, change, diminish) and we can see evolution and adaption in action.

How do these components interact?

Presented like this, it is difficult to find a useful an pragmatic way of defining how one component influences the other.

Multiple layers

In the case of complex network systems, more often than not, alle these components also have layers to them: the structure and flows as wel as our own interactions with the system itself.

I will expand on these layers in upcoming posts. Let me know what your questions are!