Synchronization in complex networks

Synchronization processes in populations of locally interacting elements are the focus of intense research in physical, biological, chemical, technological and social systems. The many efforts devoted to understanding synchronization phenomena in natural systems now take advantage of the recent theory of complex networks. In this review, we report the advances in the comprehension of synchronization phenomena when oscillating elements are constrained to interact in a complex network topology. We also take an overview of the new emergent features coming out from the interplay between the structure and the function of the underlying patterns of connections. Extensive numerical work as well as analytical approaches to the problem are presented. Finally, we review several applications of synchronization in complex networks to different disciplines: biological systems and neuroscience, engineering and computer science, and economy and social sciences. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.