- April 2018
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- Despite the huge interest in network resilience to stress, most of the studies have concentrated on internal stress damaging network structure (e.g., node removals). Here we study how networks respond to environmental stress deteriorating their external conditions. We show that, when regular networks gradually disintegrate as environmental stress increases, disordered networks can suddenly collapse at critical stress with hysteresis and vulnerability to perturbations. We demonstrate that this difference results from a trade-off between node resilience and network resilience to environmental stress. The nodes in the disordered networks can suppress their collapses due to the small-world topology of the networks but eventually collapse all together in return. Our findings indicate that some real networks can be highly resilient against environmental stress to a threshold yet extremely vulnerable to the stress above the threshold because of their small-world topology.
- early-warning signals; catastrophic shifts; tipping point; critical transitions; complex networks; regime shifts; ecosystems; collapse; communities; percolation