Neural Dynamics and Control Group

Information transmission in dynamical networks: the normal network case
IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (2018)
G Baggio, V Rutten, G Hennequin, and S Zampieri


Reliable information processing is a hallmark of many physical and biological networked systems. In this paper, we propose a novel framework for modelling information transmission within a linear dynamical network. Information propagation is modelled by means of a digital communication protocol that takes into account the realistic phenomenon of inter-symbol interference. Building on this framework, we adopt the Shannon information rate to quantify the amount of information that can be reliably sent over the network within a fixed time window. We investigate how the latter information metric is affected by the connectivity structure of the network. Here, we focus in particular on networks characterized by a normal adjacency matrix. We show that for such networks the maximum achievable information rate depends only on the spectrum of the adjacency matrix. We then provide numerical results suggesting that non-normal network architectures could benefit information transmission in our framework.