Challenges in complex systems science

M. San Miguel, J. H. Johnson, J. Kertesz, K. Kaski, A. Díaz-Guilera, R. S. MacKay, V. Loreto, P. Érdi, D. Helbing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

FuturICT foundations are social science, complex systems science, and ICT. The main concerns and challenges in the science of complex systems in the context of FuturICT are laid out in this paper with special emphasis on the Complex Systems route to Social Sciences. This include complex systems having: many heterogeneous interacting parts; multiple scales; complicated transition laws; unexpected or unpredicted emergence; sensitive dependence on initial conditions; path-dependent dynamics; networked hierarchical connectivities; interaction of autonomous agents; self-organisation; non-equilibrium dynamics; combinatorial explosion; adaptivity to changing environments; co-evolving subsystems; ill-defined boundaries; and multilevel dynamics. In this context, science is seen as the process of abstracting the dynamics of systems from data. This presents many challenges including: data gathering by large-scale experiment, participatory sensing and social computation, managing huge distributed dynamic and heterogeneous databases; moving from data to dynamical models, going beyond correlations to cause-effect relationships, understanding the relationship between simple and comprehensive models with appropriate choices of variables, ensemble modeling and data assimilation, modeling systems of systems of systems with many levels between micro and macro; and formulating new approaches to prediction, forecasting, and risk, especially in systems that can reflect on and change their behaviour in response to predictions, and systems whose apparently predictable behaviour is disrupted by apparently unpredictable rare or extreme events. These challenges are part of the FuturICT agenda.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-271
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Physical Journal: Special Topics
Volume214
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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Systems science
complex systems
Large scale systems
Social sciences
Autonomous agents
assimilation
predictions
forecasting
Explosions
Macros
Data structures
explosions
routes
causes
Computer simulation
Experiments
interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

San Miguel, M., Johnson, J. H., Kertesz, J., Kaski, K., Díaz-Guilera, A., MacKay, R. S., ... Helbing, D. (2012). Challenges in complex systems science. European Physical Journal: Special Topics, 214(1), 245-271. https://doi.org/10.1140/epjst/e2012-01694-y

Challenges in complex systems science. / San Miguel, M.; Johnson, J. H.; Kertesz, J.; Kaski, K.; Díaz-Guilera, A.; MacKay, R. S.; Loreto, V.; Érdi, P.; Helbing, D.

In: European Physical Journal: Special Topics, Vol. 214, No. 1, 12.2012, p. 245-271.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

San Miguel, M, Johnson, JH, Kertesz, J, Kaski, K, Díaz-Guilera, A, MacKay, RS, Loreto, V, Érdi, P & Helbing, D 2012, 'Challenges in complex systems science', European Physical Journal: Special Topics, vol. 214, no. 1, pp. 245-271. https://doi.org/10.1140/epjst/e2012-01694-y
San Miguel M, Johnson JH, Kertesz J, Kaski K, Díaz-Guilera A, MacKay RS et al. Challenges in complex systems science. European Physical Journal: Special Topics. 2012 Dec;214(1):245-271. https://doi.org/10.1140/epjst/e2012-01694-y
San Miguel, M. ; Johnson, J. H. ; Kertesz, J. ; Kaski, K. ; Díaz-Guilera, A. ; MacKay, R. S. ; Loreto, V. ; Érdi, P. ; Helbing, D. / Challenges in complex systems science. In: European Physical Journal: Special Topics. 2012 ; Vol. 214, No. 1. pp. 245-271.
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