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  1. Abstract

    The field of optimal control typically requires the assumption of perfect knowledge of the system one desires to control, which is an unrealistic assumption for biological systems, or networks, typically affected by high levels of uncertainty. Here, we investigate the minimum energy control of network ensembles, which may take one of a number of possible realizations. We ensure the controller derived can perform the desired control with a tunable amount of accuracy and we study how the control energy and the overall control cost scale with the number of possible realizations. Our focus is in characterizing the solution of the optimal control problem in the limit in which the systems are drawn from a continuous distribution, and in particular, how to properly pose the weighting terms in the objective function. We verify the theory in three examples of interest: a unidirectional chain network with uncertain edge weights and self-loop weights, a network where each edge weight is drawn from a given distribution, and the Jacobian of the dynamics corresponding to the cell signaling network of autophagy in the presence of uncertain parameters.

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  2. Abstract

    Real-world systems in epidemiology, social sciences, power transportation, economics and engineering are often described as multilayer networks. Here we first define and compute the symmetries of multilayer networks, and then study the emergence of cluster synchronization in these networks. We distinguish between independent layer symmetries, which occur in one layer and are independent of the other layers, and dependent layer symmetries, which involve nodes in different layers. We study stability of the cluster synchronous solution by decoupling the problem into a number of independent blocks and assessing stability of each block through a Master Stability Function. We see that blocks associated with dependent layer symmetries have a different structure to the other blocks, which affects the stability of clusters associated with these symmetries. Finally, we validate the theory in a fully analog experiment in which seven electronic oscillators of three kinds are connected with two kinds of coupling.

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  3. Selecting appropriate inputs for systems described by complex networks is an important but difficult problem that largely remains open in the field of control of networks. Recent work has proposed two methods for energy efficient input selection; a gradient-based heuristic and a greedy approximation algorithm. We propose here an alternative method for input selection based on the analytic solution of the controllability Gramian of the ‘balloon graph’, a special model graph that captures the role of both distance and redundant paths between a driver node and a target node. The method presented is especially applicable for large networks where one is interested in controlling only a small number of outputs, or target nodes, for which current methods may not be practical because they require computing a typically very ill-conditioned matrix, called the controllability Gramian. Our method produces comparable results to the previous methods while being more computational efficient. 
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    Abstract Optimizing the impact on the economy of control strategies aiming at containing the spread of COVID-19 is a critical challenge. We use daily new case counts of COVID-19 patients reported by local health administrations from different Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) within the US to parametrize a model that well describes the propagation of the disease in each area. We then introduce a time-varying control input that represents the level of social distancing imposed on the population of a given area and solve an optimal control problem with the goal of minimizing the impact of social distancing on the economy in the presence of relevant constraints, such as a desired level of suppression for the epidemics at a terminal time. We find that with the exception of the initial time and of the final time, the optimal control input is well approximated by a constant, specific to each area, which contrasts with the implemented system of reopening ‘in phases’. For all the areas considered, this optimal level corresponds to stricter social distancing than the level estimated from data. Proper selection of the time period for application of the control action optimally is important: depending on the particular MSA this period should be either short or long or intermediate. We also consider the case that the transmissibility increases in time (due e.g. to increasingly colder weather), for which we find that the optimal control solution yields progressively stricter measures of social distancing. We finally compute the optimal control solution for a model modified to incorporate the effects of vaccinations on the population and we see that depending on a number of factors, social distancing measures could be optimally reduced during the period over which vaccines are administered to the population. 
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