The physics of higher-order interactions in complex systems

Complexity Digest

Federico Battiston, Enrico Amico, Alain Barrat, Ginestra Bianconi, Guilherme Ferraz de Arruda, Benedetta Franceschiello, Iacopo Iacopini, Sonia Kéfi, Vito Latora, Yamir Moreno, Micah M. Murray, Tiago P. Peixoto, Francesco Vaccarino & Giovanni Petri
Nature Physics volume17,pages1093–1098 (2021)

Complex networks have become the main paradigm for modelling the dynamics of interacting systems. However, networks are intrinsically limited to describing pairwise interactions, whereas real-world systems are often characterized by higher-order interactions involving groups of three or more units. Higher-order structures, such as hypergraphs and simplicial complexes, are therefore a better tool to map the real organization of many social, biological and man-made systems. Here, we highlight recent evidence of collective behaviours induced by higher-order interactions, and we outline three key challenges for the physics of higher-order systems.

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