Eigenvalue spectra of finely structured random matrices

Lyle Poley, Tobias Galla, Joseph W. Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Random matrix theory allows for the deduction of stability criteria for complex systems using only a summary knowledge of the statistics of the interactions between components. As such, results like the well-known elliptical law are applicable in a myriad of different contexts. However, it is often assumed that all components of the complex system in question are statistically equivalent, which is unrealistic in many applications. Here, we introduce the concept of a finely-structured random matrix. These are random matrices with element-specific statistics, which can be used to model systems in which the individual components are statistically distinct. By supposing that the degree of `fine structure' in the matrix is small, we arrive at a succinct `modified' elliptical law. We demonstrate the direct applicability of our results to the niche and cascade models in theoretical ecology, as well as a model of a neural network, and a directed network with arbitrary degree distribution. The simple closed form of our central results allow us to draw broad qualitative conclusions about the effect of fine structure on stability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number064301
JournalPhysical Review E
Early online date3 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2024


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