Higher-order interactions can better optimize network synchronization
Collective behavior plays a key role in the function of a wide range of physical, biological, and neurological systems where empirical evidence has recently uncovered the prevalence of higher-order interactions, i.e., structures that represent interactions between more than just two individual units, in complex network structures. Here, we study the optimization of collective behavior in networks with higher-order interactions encoded in clique complexes. Our approach involves adapting the synchrony alignment function framework to a composite Laplacian matrix that encodes multiorder interactions including, e.g., both dyadic and triadic couplings. We show that as higher-order coupling interactions are equitably strengthened, so that overall coupling is conserved, the optimal collective behavior improves. We find that this phenomenon stems from the broadening of a composite Laplacian's eigenvalue spectrum, which improves the optimal collective behavior and widens the range of possible behaviors. Moreover, we find in constrained optimization scenarios that a nontrivial, ideal balance between the relative strengths of pairwise and higher-order interactions leads to the strongest collective behavior supported by a network. This work provides insight into how systems balance interactions of different types to optimize or broaden their dynamical range of behavior, especially for self-regulating systems like the brain.
Physical Review Research