The structure of many real-world systems is best captured by networks consisting of several interaction layers. Understanding how a multi-layered structure of connections affects the synchronization properties of dynamical systems evolving on top of it is a highly relevant endeavour in mathematics and physics, and has potential applications to several socially relevant topics, such as power grids engineering and neural dynamics. We propose a general framework to assess stability of the synchronized state in networks with multiple interaction layers, deriving a necessary condition that generalizes the Master Stability Function approach. We validate our method applying it to a network of Rössler oscillators with a double layer of interactions, and show that highly rich phenomenology emerges. This includes cases where the stability of synchronization can be induced even if both layers would have individually induced unstable synchrony, an effect genuinely due to the true multi-layer structure of the interactions amongst the units in the network.
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del Genio, C., Gómez-Gardeñes, J., Bonamassa, I., & Boccaletti, S. (2016). Synchronization in networks with multiple interaction layers. Science advances, 2, [e1601679]. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601679