The Network Science and Technology (NEST) Center is focused on the fundamental research and engineering of natural and technological networks, ranging from social and cognitive networks to computer networks. The fundamental understanding of network structures and dynamical processes arising in them combined with the novel designs of protocols for communication and algorithms for applications will enable experts in the fields ranging from sociology, to biology, medicine, physics, computer science and engineering, and transportation engineering to apply the results of the center research in their specific disciplines.
NEST researchers study the fundamental properties of networks, the processes underlying their evolution and the paradigms for network engineering to enhance their efficiency, reliability, robustness and other desirable properties. Research on natural networks, such as social and cognitive networks in which people interact over variety of means, focuses on cognitive models of net-centric interactions, models and algorithms of community creation and evolution, impact of mobility on network formation, dependencies between social, information and communication networks and spread of opinions and ideologies among network nodes. Research on technological networks, such as computer, transportation and energy distribution networks, focuses on their optimal design from the point of view of flow maximization, fault tolerance to failure, and graceful degradation in case of partial damage, etc. In communication networks, NEST develops and studies network protocols and algorithms, especially for wireless and sensor networks and studies system issues in interoperability of communication networks with computer systems. NEST actively transitions the developed protocols and algorithms to industrial practice and commercialization.
NEST partners with universities, national laboratories and industry in large scientific programs targeting interdisciplinary research. NEST is the primary member of the Social Cognitive Network Academic Research Center, a part of Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance, as well as member of the International Technology Alliance, both funded by collaborative agreements with ARL.