Searching Better Rewiring Strategies and Objective Functions for Stronger Controllability Robustness

Yang LOU*, Shengli XIE, Guanrong CHEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Rewiring is a common strategy for enhancing the controllability robustness of complex networks. In this brief, rewiring strategies including the degree-preserving strategy, underlying-topology-preserving strategy, and unconstrained-rewiring strategy, are compared and analyzed. Since measuring the true controllability-robustness values by simulations is time-consuming hence impractical, three surrogates are proposed for improvement, namely initial controllability, critical nodes exposure, and network heterogeneity. Combinations of rewiring strategies and objective functions are compared to the random edge-rectification strategy. Extensive simulations show that the random-edge rectification outperforms all the other strategies in enhancing the controllability robustness, but significantly changes the resulting network topology. In effect, the degree-preserving rewiring strategy performs as well as the unconstrained-rewiring strategy on homogeneous networks. The results also show the effectiveness of using the critical nodes exposure as a surrogate for the true controllability robustness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9309093
Pages (from-to)2112-2116
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 62002249, and in part by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council through GRF under Grant CityU 11206320.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004-2012 IEEE.


  • Complex network
  • controllability
  • optimization
  • rewiring
  • robustness


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