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A tool for virtual experimental network topological analysis  


A Cytoscape plug-in for virtual knock-out experiments on complex networks

Centrality indexes allow categorizing nodes in complex networks according to their topological relevance (see CentiScaPe plugin). In a node-oriented perspective, centralities are very useful topological parameters to compute in order to quantify the effect of individual node(s) alteration. We have introduced the notion of interference and developed the Cytoscape plugin Interference to evaluate the topological effects of single or multiple nodes removal from a network. In this perspective, interference allows virtual node knock-out experiments: it is possible to remove one or more nodes from a network and analyze the consequences on network structure, by looking to the variations of the node centralities values.  As the centrality value of a node is strictly dependent on the network structure and on the properties of other nodes in the network, the consequences of a node deletion are well captured by the variation on the centrality values of all the other nodes. 


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