To understand the properties of complex systems, we currently lack a theoretical framework for the analysis of aggregate behaviour in multi-scale, multi-objective systems. GENNETEC gathers a consortium of computer scientists, physicists, biologists and bioinformaticists. It takes inspiration from a biological case (transcriptional interaction networks) that exemplifies many challenges in complex systems research, including elemental heterogeneity, interconnected scales in time and space, emergence of higher level behaviour, and hierarchies.
GENNETEC will exploit its case study to build a theoretical framework for modelling/simulating complex systems and for the analysis of their emergent properties. This development will make use of methods from formal software engineering and from qualitative approaches in statistical physics. It will deal with the two-way information flow between two or more successive levels of model description, with particular attention on consequences for aggregate behaviour. To tackle complex systems with more modelling levels, hierarchies of descriptions will be studied.
Winthin this theoretical framework we will develop bottom-up multi-scale methodologies to analyse global aggregation behaviours. Design of multi-stable systems will be handled using multi-objective optimization algorithms, borrowing from evolutionary computation and from message-passing techniques. These studies will be extended and generalized across other, non-biological applications to understand and design complex systems with desired aggregate behaviour, having both stability and versatility / adaptativity.
The biological outcome of these studies will be transferred into a scalable sofware tool to achieve a breakthrough in the bioinformatics domain of inference in transcriptional interaction networks. GENNETEC will also deliver a software tool for modelling/simulating complex networks, as well as reports and publications on the above-described issues.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
78153 Le Chesnay
48160 Derio (Bizkaia)