Noyce Conference Room
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John Doyle (California Institute of Technology)

Abstract.  This talk will focus on progress towards a more “unified” theory for complex networks motivated primarily by neuroscience[4], cell biology[3], medicine[9] and technology (internet, smartgrid, sustainable infrastructure)[1][8], and involving several elements: hard limits, tradeoffs, and constraints  on achievable robust performance ( “laws”), the organizing principles  that succeed or fail in achieving them (architectures and protocols), the resulting high variability data and “robust yet fragile” behavior  observed in real systems and case studies (behavior, data), and the processes by which systems adapt and evolve (variation, selection, design).  We will leverage a series of case studies from neuroscience, particularly vision and sensorimotor control, plus the audience’s familiarity with modern IT and theory of computation.  Other useful case studies to illustrate the implications of recent theoretical developments include medical physiology, particularly heart rate and other control system variability[9], but also cell biology, human physiology, physics (turbulence[5], statistical mechanics[2]), and technology, also drawing on hopefully more familiar and accessible examples from dance, art, music, literature, fashion[4], buildings, cities, law, finance, paleontology, and the recent popular obsession with zombies.

Papers [1] and [4] (and references therein) are the most accessible and broad introduction while the other papers give more domain specific details.  There is related material in a recent blog post:                    

Selected recent references:

[1]    Alderson DL, Doyle JC (2010) Contrasting views of complexity and their implications for network-centric infrastructures. IEEE Trans Systems Man Cybernetics—Part A: Syst Humans 40:839-852.

[2]    Sandberg H, Delvenne JC, Doyle JC. On Lossless Approximations, the Fluctuation-Dissipation Theorem, and Limitations of Measurements, IEEE Trans Auto Control, Feb 2011

[3]    Chandra F, Buzi G, Doyle JC (2011) Glycolytic oscillations and limits on robust efficiency. Science, Vol 333, pp 187-192.

[4]    Doyle JC, Csete ME(2011) Architecture, Constraints, and Behavior, PNAS, vol. 108, Sup 3 15624-15630

[5]    Gayme DF, McKeon BJ, Bamieh B, Papachristodoulou P, Doyle JC (2011) Amplification and Nonlinear Mechanisms in Plane Couette Flow, Physics of Fluids, V23, Issue 6, 065108

[6]    Page, M. T., D. Alderson, and J. Doyle (2011), The magnitude distribution of earthquakes near Southern California faults, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B12309, doi:10.1029/2010JB007933.

[7]    Namas R, Zamora R, An, G, Doyle, J et al, (2012) Sepsis: Something old, something new, and a systems view, Journal of Critical Care  Volume: 27   Issue: 3

[8]    Chen, L; Ho, T; Chiang, M, Low S; Doyle J,(2012) Congestion Control for Multicast Flows With Network Coding, IEEE Trans On Information Theory  Volume: 58   Issue: 9   Pages: 5908-5921 

[9]    Li, Cruz, Chien, Sojoudi, Recht, Stone, Csete, Bahmiller, Doyle (2014)   Robust efficiency and actuator saturation explain healthy heart rate control and variability, PNAS 2014 111 (33) E3476-E3485; published ahead of print August 4, 2014

Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
David Wolpert

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