In practical terms, controlling a network requires manipulating a large number of nodes with a comparatively small number of external inputs, a process that is facilitated by paths that broadcast the influence of the (directly-controlled) driver nodes to the rest of the network. Recent work has shown that surprisingly, temporal networks can enjoy tremendous control advantages over their static counterparts despite the fact that in temporal networks such paths are seldom instantaneously available. To understand the underlying reasons, here we systematically analyze the scaling behavior of a key control cost for temporal networks–the control energy. We show that the energy costs of controlling temporal networks are determined solely by the spectral properties of an “effective” Gramian matrix, analogous to the static network case. Surprisingly, we find that this scaling is largely dictated by the first and the last network snapshot in the temporal sequence, independent of the number of intervening snapshots, the initial and final states, and the number of driver nodes. Our results uncover the intrinsic laws governing why and when temporal networks save considerable control energy over their static counterparts.
Control energy scaling in temporal networks
Aming Li, Sean P. Cornelius, Yang-Yu Liu, Long Wang, Albert-László Barabási