Global firing induced by network disorder in ensembles of active rotators

Claudio Juan Tessone, Damian H. Zanette and Raul Toral

The European Physical Journal B (2008)


We study the influence of repulsive interactions on an ensemble of coupled excitable rotators. We find that a moderate fraction of repulsive interactions can trigger global firing of the ensemble. The regime of global firing, however, is suppressed in sufficiently large systems if the network of repulsive interactions is fully random, due to self-averaging in its degree distribution. We thus introduce a model of partially random networks with a broad degree distribution, where self-averaging due to size growth is absent. In this case, the regime of global firing persists for large sizes. Our results extend previous work on the constructive effects of diversity in the collective dynamics of complex systems.