Throughout the past decade, there has been a significant advance in understanding the structure and function of networks, and mathematical models of networks are now widely used to describe a broad range of complex systems, such as socio-economic systems. However, the significant majority of methods have dealt almost exclusively with individual networks treated as isolated systems. In reality an individual network is often just one component in a much larger complex multi-level network (network of networks, NON). The NON framework provides critical new insights into the structure and function of real-world complex systems. One such insight is that NON system is significantly more vulnerable to shocks and damages, which has lead to the development of the theory of cascading failures in interdependent networks. Here we provide an overview of this theory, and one example of its application to economic systems.
Shlomo Havlin, Dror Y Kenett
Complex networks, Economics, and Finance