In the preceding chapters, we have essentially taken an engineer’s approach: our aim was to come up with recipes for constructing networks exhibiting a given behavior, or to search for the networks best suited to carry out a particular task. We can approach the network dynamics problem from a more general perspective by trying to characterize the properties of an “arbitrary,” undedicated network—a network which was not constructed with the goal of accomplishing a specific task. This raises two preliminary questions:
What is an arbitrary network?
Which properties should be studied?