Spectral theory for dynamics on graphs containing attractive and repulsive interactions

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Abstract

Many applied problems can be posed as a dynamical system defined on a network with attractive and repulsive interactions. Examples include synchronization of nonlinear oscillator networks; the behavior of groups, or cliques, in social networks; and the study of optimal convergence for consensus algorithm. It is important to determine the index of a matrix, i.e., the number of positive and negative eigenvalues, and the dimension of the kernel. In this paper we consider the common examples where the matrix takes the form of a signed graph Laplacian. We show that the there are topological constraints on the index of the Laplacian matrix related to the dimension of a certain homology group. When the homology group is trivial, the index of the operator is determined only by the topology of the network and is independent of the strengths of the interactions. In general, these constraints give bounds on the number of positive and negative eigenvalues, with the dimension of the homology group counting the number of eigenvalue crossings. The homology group also gives a natural decomposition of the dynamics into "fixed" degrees of freedom, whose index does not depend on the edge weights, and an orthogonal set of "free" degrees of freedom, whose index changes as the edge weights change. We also explore the spectrum of the Laplacians of signed random matrices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-105
Number of pages23
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Dynamics on networks
  • Graph Laplacian
  • Social networks
  • Spectral graph theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics

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