Enhanced robustness of evolving open systems by the bidirectionality of interactions between elements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research units

  • Tohoku University
  • National Institute for Materials Science Tsukuba
  • Central European University
  • Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • University of Tokyo


Living organisms, ecosystems, and social systems are examples of complex systems in which robustness against inclusion of new elements is an essential feature. A recently proposed simple model has revealed a general mechanism by which such systems can become robust against inclusion of elements with totally random interactions when the elements have a moderate number of links. The interaction is, however, in many systems often intrinsically bidirectional like for mutual symbiosis and competition in ecology. This study reports the strong reinforcement effect of the bidirectionality of the interactions on the robustness of evolving systems. We show that the system with purely bidirectional interactions can grow with twofold average degree, in comparison with the purely unidirectional system. This drastic shift of the transition point comes from the reinforcement of each node, not from a change in structure of the emergent system. For systems with partially bidirectional interactions we find that the regime of the growing phase gets expanded. In the dense interaction regime, there exists an optimum proportion of bidirectional interactions for the growth rate at around 1/3. In the sparsely connected systems, small but finite fraction of bidirectional links can change the system's behaviour from non-growing to growing.


Original languageEnglish
Article number6978
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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