The Network Takeover; Albert-László Barabási (Nature Physics, January 2012)
Debates about holism versus reductionism and ideas about chaos, synergetics and self-organized criticality have been around for decades. What prompted the revolution in network theory in recent years was the sudden and abundant availability of data. Mobile-phone records capture the communication and mobility patterns of whole countries, import-export and stock data condense economic activity into easily accessible databases. From social media to cell biology, cheap sensors and high-throughput technologies are fueling a data explosion that offers unparalleled opportunities to document the inner workings of many complex systems.