Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Butail, Sachit

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Network representation provides a natural framework for the study of real world complex systems. From social networks and animal groups to interneuronal communications and power grid systems, complex patterns of interaction can be captured and modeled using networks in a simple mathematical form. In many cases, however, a faithful network representation of the system is not readily available. For this reason, network reconstruction has become a growing topic of interest in recent years, the goal of which is to discover the hidden interaction patterns among individuals by fitting input-output data from multiple experiments to candidate network topologies.

During a cascade, however, only one set of data is available to describe the response of each individual; this is common for many real world scenarios when only a single instance of an event can be observed (such as crowd panic or disease epidemics). To reconstruct the< underlying network with limited data, in this thesis we formulated a model-based reconstruction framework which assumes first-order dynamics of individual response and linear interactions between individuals. We tested this framework by simulating cascades and performing reconstruction for a number of sample networks. Next, we analyzed the dependence of the number of candidate network solutions on prior knowledge about the network captured in terms of dynamic parameters and connectivity. Our results indicated that the number of valid solutions can be greatly reduced provided some knowledge of nodal parameters and network topology is available. Finally, we validated the modeling framework on experimental data from literature describing fish response to a simulated predator attack. Specifically, we confirm that individual fish startle response follows first order dynamics and that the reconstructed topology in a school of escaping fish approximates their visual perceptual field.


62 pages




Northern Illinois University

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