We introduce the concept of control centrality to quantify the ability of a single node to control a directed weighted network. We calculate the distribution of control centrality for several real networks and find that it is mainly determined by the network’s degree distribution. We show that in a directed network without loops the control centrality of a node is uniquely determined by its layer index or topological position in the underlying hierarchical structure of the network. Inspired by the deep relation between control centrality and hierarchical structure in a general directed network, we design an efficient attack strategy against the controllability of malicious networks.

JF - PLoS ONE JA - PLoS ONE VL - 7 IS - 9 UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0044459 SP - e44459 EP - PB - Public Library of Science M3 - doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044459 ER -