ISC-PIF Research Topics

The Institute is dedicated to the science of complex systems. The research topics that the ISC-PIF supports are by their nature numerous and complementary. Nevertheless, some in particular seem to be of general interest for the development of the complex systems community, and, taking a wider view, for scientific progress in general.

These exemplary topics have been identified during interdisciplinary brainstorming sessions. These sessions have been launched at the “Entretiens de Cargèse” in 2006 and 2008, one-week events organized jointly by RNSC, ISC-PIF and IXXI. It led to the publication of the French Roadmap for Complex Systems a document signed by more than 70 scientists from major French institutions.

The aim of this roadmap is to foster the coordination of the complex systems community on focused topics and questions, as well as to present contributions and challenges in complex systems and complexity science to the public, political, and industrial spheres.

Bellow, you will find the main research topics supported by the ISC-PIF..

Main questions

  • Formal epistemology, experimentation, machine learning
    • Computer tools for exploration and formalization
    • Computer assisted human interactions
  • Stochastic and multiscale dynamics, instabilities and robustness
    • The cascade paradigm
    • Random dynamical systems and stochastic bifurcations
    • Phase transitions, emerging patterns and behaviour
    • Space-time scaling in physics and biology
  • Collective behavior in homogeneous and heterogeneous systems
    • Collective dynamics of homogeneous and/or heterogeneous units
    • Collective dynamics in heterogeneous environments
    • Emergence of heterogeneity and differentiation processes, dynamical heterogeneity, information diffusion
  • From optimal control to multiscale governance
    • Extending the scope of optimal control
    • Projecting complex dynamics into spaces of smaller dimension
    • Projecting optimal control into high and multiscale dimensional space
    • Extending the exploration/exploitation trade-off to governance analysis
    • Co-adaptation of governance and stakeholders’objectives
  • Reconstruction of multiscale dynamics, emergence and immergence processes
    • Building common and pertinent conceptual frameworks in the life sciences
    • Achieving coherence in the modeling of complex systems
    • Development of mathematical and computer formalisms for modeling multi-level and multiscale systems.
  • Designing artificial complex systems
    • Using artificial complex systems for the understanding and regulation of natural complex systems
    • Finding inspiration in natural complex systems for the design of artificial complex systems
    • Design of Hybrid Complex Systems
  • Emergence in physics : Collective behavior and out of equilibrium fluctuations
    • Self-organized and spatio temporal dynamics of complex matter
    • Out-of-equilibrium fluctuations
    • Metastable matter, slow relaxation and glassy dynamics
  • Theory and network measurement
    • Structure and hierarchy, classification
    • Formalism, measure and data
    • Dynamics network : features, measure, proprieties and monitoring
    • Exploration and visualization of complex networks
  • Disruption and robustness
    • Analyze and describing (characterization) of transitory states in multiscale dynamics system
    • Identification and validation of sensibility to the disruptions of systems and the models
    • Role of variation and transition in emergence dans stability patterns
  • Information, thermodynamics and causality in complex systems
    • How to identify and to describe information in complex system ?
    • Causality in complex system : generality and specificity
    • Source of multiple informations in complex systems : coexistence, cooperation, overlapping and competition ?
  • Prediction compared with understanding in complex systems
    • Law and models
    • Towards to thermodynamics of complex systems ?

Main objects

  • Complex matter
    • Non-equilibrium statistical physics
    • Damage and fracture of heterogeneous materials
    • Glassy dynamics
    • Bifurcations in turbulence: from dynamo action to slow dynamics
  • From molecules to organisms
    • Fluctuations and noise in biological systems
    • Stability in biology
    • Multiscaling
    • Human physiopathology and animal models
  • Physiological functions
    • Integrating multimodal measurements and observations of physiological activities at different spatial and temporal scales.
    • Characterizing the contextual features determining the onset of a physiological function, or its maintenance and modulation.
    • Investigating the relationship between the ontogenesis of a physiological function and its potential disorders.
  • Ecosystemic complexity
    • Develop observation and experimental systems for the reconstruction of the long-term dynamics of ecosystems
    • Model the relationships between biodiversity, functioning and dynamics of the ecosystems
    • Associate integrative biology and ecology to decipher evolutionary mechanisms
    • Simulate virtual landscapes (integration and coupling of biogeochemical and ecological models into dynamic landscape mock-ups)
    • Design decision-support systems for multifunctional ecosystems
  • From individual cognition to social cognition
    • Individual cognition, cognitive constraints and decision processes
    • Modeling the dynamics of scientific communities
    • Society of the Internet, Internet of the society
  • Individuals, structures, societies
    • Emergence of collective behavior in biological populations
    • Co-evolution of individuals and society
    • Co-evolution of individuals, structures and territories
    • Heterarchies, multiscale organisations
  • Innovation, learning and co-evolution
    • Understanding the dynamic conditions of innovation
    • Modeling innovations and their rhythms
    • Understanding the relation between cognition and innovation
  • Territorial intelligence and sustainable development
    • Understanding territorial differentiation
    • Towards a reflexive territorial governance
    • Viability and observation of territories
  • Ubiquitous computing
    • Local design for global properties
    • Autonomic Computing
    • New computing paradigms
    • Specification of adaptive programming environments
  • Geosciences and the environment
    • Understanding and reducing uncertainties
    • Out-of-equilibrium statistical physics of the Earth system