Next-generation network science
Office of Naval Research: Multi-University Research Initiative

Net-centric technology promises unprecedented levels of performance, robustness, and efficiency, yet there remains substantial confusion regarding obstacles to achieving this vision. Our proposed program will clarify and address the central research challenges: understanding network structure and function, domain-specific drivers and constraints, and the crucial issue of network architecture. Networks must shift from only sensing and communication to real-time, dynamic decision and control, with algorithms that are primarily local yet achieve provably global results, all while avoiding the rare but catastrophic real-world failures that are hard to anticipate with simulation-based methods. Our team consists of experts in various aspects of physical, informational, control, social and cognitive networks, who have played major leadership roles in creating the beginnings of an international research community specifically developing a framework and methodology to pose and answer questions directly relevant to this project.