New England Complex Systems Institute




Selected Publications

Amazing Publications


Professor Dan Braha is interested in understanding the functionality, dynamics, robustness, and fragility of large-scale socio-engineered, economic, political, and managerial systems. These systems—like power grids, global communication networks, or large-scale technological innovations—are so ubiquitous in our daily lives that we usually take them for granted, only noticing them when they break down. Following are some questions of his research: How do such amazing technologies, infrastructures, and organizations come to be what they are? How are these systems designed? How do distributed networks work? How are they made to be robust and respond rapidly to errors? To address these questions, he explores the interplay between biological, physical, and large-scale human-made systems by creating theoretical and computational models using the tools of statistical physics, sociology, operations research, and computer science. Current projects include studies of dynamic complex networks, with applications to large-scale social, financial, economic, political, and technological systems.

Dan Braha is a full professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He is also a co-faculty of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) in Cambridge, MA. Prior to that, he was a visiting professor at MIT, a research scientist at Boston University, and a tenured professor in Israel. Dr. Braha has published extensively in various prestigious journals, and edited or authored seven books, including Complex Engineered Systems (with Springer). He serves as editor for Research in Engineering Design, is editor of Complexity at Springer, has served as the editor of several special journal issues, and as associate editor for IEEE Transactions, as well as a member of the editorial board of various leading journals. He has also served on executive committees including the International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS), and as chair at a number of international conferences. He is invited to consult and present his work in prestigious conferences and workshops, including the RAND Corporation and GE Global Research. He also regularly teaches courses in complex systems.

Dr. Braha has contributed to a wide spectrum of research areas. In particular, he has advanced the area of engineering design and complex systems by introducing methodologies for understanding and improving the design, implementation, and dynamics of complex socio-economics and engineered systems (CES) as well as exploring the interplay between natural and large-scale human-made systems. This research mainly focuses on understanding the functionality, dynamics, robustness, and fragility of large-scale networked systems, including measuring their design complexity (structural, functional, and dynamic), and their associated information bottlenecks. A major theme underlying this research is the description and analysis of complex socio-economics and engineered systems as networks. For example, engineering tasks, people, companies, geographical regions, and technical decisions are the nodes. Links quantify the information transfer between the various nodes. The similarity and differences between socio-economics and engineering networks and other networks (e.g., Internet, metabolic, and regulatory networks) are of great interest. One advantage of such an approach is to put natural and socio-technical systems within the same discipline, whereby the study of natural complex systems leads to better methods for complex socio-technical systems, while experience with building, controlling, and manipulating socio-technical systems enhances understanding of how natural complex systems function. For example, the recognition of the ubiquity of robustness in biological and physical systems led him to examine the range of meanings for engineering system robustness (beyond 'insensitivity to variation in the operating environment'), with the aim of developing a more integrated and systematic management of dynamic robustness and flexibility throughout the creation and realization of man-made systems.




The Structure and Diffusion Dynamics of 

Large Scale Organizational and Engineering Networks



Social Network Analysis of Product

Design and Development Organizational Networks




Time-Dependent Networks, Dynamic Centrality, and Cycles of Human Interactions: A New Paradigm for Complex Networks


Theory of Time-Dependent Networks: How randomness rules our "ranking" – from "popular influencer" marketing to disease and computer-virus prevention strategies




Voting Contagion and Social Influence



Financial Contagion, Herding, and Panic


(Image courtesy of Raymond Verdaguer)
Predicting the Behavior of Civil Unrest:
Social Instability Meets Science

Organizational Ecology, Perceived Competition, Geography, and Social Networks:
Complexity in Economic Sociology

   Link to Springer Online


Back Cover



   Link to Springer Online


Data Mining in Design and Manufacturing Systems



   Link to Springer Online


Download 'Design as Scientific Problem Solving'

   Link to Springer Online

   Link to Springer Online

   Link to Springer Online




Information Delays, Instability, and Oscillations in Complex Decision Making