Local sign stability and its implications for spectra of sparse random graphs and stability of ecosystems

Pietro Valigi*, Izaak Neri, Chiara Cammarota

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the spectral properties of sparse random graphs with different topologies and type of interactions, and their implications on the stability of complex systems, with particular attention to ecosystems. Specifically, we focus on the behaviour of the leading eigenvalue in different type of random matrices (including interaction matrices and Jacobian-like matrices), relevant for the assessment of different types of dynamical stability. By comparing numerical results on Erdős–Rényi and Husimi graphs with sign-antisymmetric interactions or mixed sign patterns, we propose a sufficient criterion, called strong local sign stability, for stability not to be affected by system size, as traditionally implied by the complexity-stability trade-off in conventional models of random matrices. The criterion requires sign-antisymmetric or unidirectional interactions and a local structure of the graph such that the number of cycles of finite length do not increase with the system size. Note that the last requirement is stronger than the classical local tree-like condition, which we associate to the less stringent definition of local sign stability, also defined in the paper. In addition, for strong local sign stable graphs which show stability to linear perturbations irrespectively of system size, we observe that the leading eigenvalue can undergo a transition from being real to acquiring a nonnull imaginary part, which implies a dynamical transition from nonoscillatory to oscillatory linear response to perturbations. Lastly, we ascertain the discontinuous nature of this transition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015017
JournalJournal of Physics: Complexity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2024


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