This work addresses time-delay in complex nonlinear systems and, in particular, its applications in complex networks; its role in control theory and nonlinear optics are also investigated. Delays arise naturally in networks of coupled systems due to finite signal propagation speeds and are thus a key issue in many areas of physics, biology, medicine, and technology. Synchronization phenomena in these networks play an important role, e.g., in the context of learning, cognitive and pathological states in the brain, for secure communication with chaotic lasers or for gene regulation. The thesis includes both novel results on the control of complex dynamics by time-delayed feedback and fundamental new insights into the interplay of delay and synchronization. One of the most interesting results here is a solution to the problem of complete synchronization in general networks with large coupling delay, i.e., large distances between the nodes, by giving a universal classification of networks that has a wide range of interdisciplinary applications.

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