Controlling Complex Networks: How Much Energy Is Needed?

Gang Yan, Jie Ren, Ying-Cheng Lai, Choy-Heng Lai, Baowen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

329 Citations (Scopus)


The outstanding problem of controlling complex networks is relevant to many areas of science and engineering, and has the potential to generate technological breakthroughs as well. We address the physically important issue of the energy required for achieving control by deriving and validating scaling laws for the lower and upper energy bounds. These bounds represent a reasonable estimate of the energy cost associated with control, and provide a step forward from the current research on controllability toward ultimate control of complex networked dynamical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number218703
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2012


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