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Albert-László Barabási:
"Web Without a Spider: The Emergence of Complex Networks"

Judith Donath

Tuesday, March 4, 2003, 4:00 PM EST

Bartos Theatre, MIT Media Lab (E15)

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Networks with complex topologies describe systems as diverse as the cell or the World Wide Web. The emergence of these networks is driven by self-organizing processes that are governed by simple but generic laws. Analysis of the metabolic and protein network of various organisms shows that cells and complex man-made networks, such as the Internet or the WWW, share the same large-scale topology. The underlying inhomogeneous structure of these complex webs has important consequences regarding their robustness against failures and attacks, with simultaneous implications for drug design and our ability to defend the Internet from hackers.

For more information see

For a representative image see the protein interaction network:

Albert-László Barabási is the Emil T. Hofman Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame. Born in Transylvania, and educated in Bucharest and Budapest, he received a PhD in physics in 1994 from Boston University. After spending a year at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center he joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1995. His research has led to the discovery and understanding of scale-free networks, describing many complex networks in technology and nature, from the World Wide Web to the cell. His current research focuses on applying the concepts developed by his group for characterizing the topology of the WWW and the Internet to uncover the structural and topological properties of complex metabolic and genetic networks. He is the author of the recent general-audience book Linked: The New Science of Networks (Perseus, 2002). For more information see

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