As the NS CTA enters its third year, it is rapidly evolving into a fully collaborative alliance in which researchers from academia, industry and government routinely work across disciplines “to collaboratively address the root issues, technical challenges, and opportunities” in network science. The NS CTA is becoming a matrix-managed style organization, in which all four centers are centers of excellence in their respective disciplines that contribute resources to cross-cutting research thrusts. And while the IRC has played a role in identifying cross-cutting thrusts (e.g. the Networks as Markets thrust discussed below), crosscutting thrusts have also risen organically from the research in the discipline-based centers (e.g. the QoI thrust) and from multiple like-minded researchers across centers (e.g. the Robustness thrust). The result is a research program that is devoted to inherently cross-discipline research that unites researchers from social/cognitive, information, and communication networking research as well as expertise in foundational fields such as statistical physics, mathematics of complex systems, statistics and sampling, control theory, economics, game-theory, virtual reality, and distributed simulation.

The cross-cutting research focus areas, called thrusts, gestate in seedling research efforts and must prove their scientific worth and relevance to the Army’s technical challenges. If they demonstrate scientific value and potential Army benefit, they expand both by adding researchers from throughout the program and by the development of new synergistic research efforts within the emerging thrust.

We are now in Year 3 of the NS-CTA project. Links to previous years’ projects can be found at the bottom of this page.

List of Year 3 Projects by thrust

  • Evolution and Dynamics of Inter-genre Networks: The fundamental science of how composite networks behave over time: dynamics, interactions, and co-evolution.
  • Networks Discovery: Methods for sufficiently assessing the existence, structure, attributes, and performance of imperfectly-observable composite networks across all spatial-temporal scales.
  • Networks as Markets: Extend methods derived from economic and game theoretic approaches to understand, predict, and enhance interdependent competing, cooperating, and overlapping multi-genre networks.
  • Networks Robustness: Methods for controlling and exploiting the properties and interdependencies of time-varying composite networks to ensure their robustness and resilience to internal and external stimuli.
  • Quality of Information: Measure, predict, and adapt composite networks to deliver the most valuable information with dynamically changing network resources, rather than the most bits, or queries.
  • Trust in Networks: The science of trust and trustworthiness across composite networks, and how it may best support distributed decision making.
  • Experimentation: The science and research practice of meaningful integrated experimentation in complex composite networks.A list of Year 1 (2010) projects can be viewed here.

The research is motivated by Army and military needs for better capabilities for understanding, predicting, and influencing networks. Some of these needs are illustrated in a motivating mini-scenario.

A list of Year 2 (2011) projects can be viewed here, and a list of Year 1 (2010) projects can be viewed here.