Developed by Stefan Boettcher and myself, Extremal Optimization (EO) is a local-search method inspired by principles of self-organized criticality. EO has been applied successfully to problems ranging from image processing to structural prediction of proteins by over a dozen different research groups and in more than 100 publications. Perhaps its most well-known application has been the work by Duch and Arenas, using EO for community detection in social networks.

For more information, see wikipedia.

Much of this work was funded by the DOE Laboratory-Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project ER 2000018 at Los Alamos National Laboratory.