Research Policy

The Institute is dedicated to the science of complex systems and it supports a diverse range of complementary and interdisciplinary research projects. In 2006 and 2008, brainstorming sessions during the “Entretiens de Cargèse” event have been organized jointly by RNSC, ISC-PIF and IXXI to identify questions and topics that are particularly relevant to complex systems research. This led to the publication of the French Roadmap for Complex Systems, which aim 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 to the public, political, and industrial spheres. This document was signed by more than 70 scientists from major French institutions

Complex Systems Topics

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

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 space 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 stakeholder’s objectives

Reconstruction of multiscale dynamics, emergence and immergence processes

  • Building common and pertinent conceptual frameworks in life sciences
  • Achieving coherence in the modeling of complex systems
  • Development of mathematical and computer formalisms for modeling multi-level and multi-scale 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 ?