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Statistical physics of information processing and combinatorial optimization

Objective

Our project addresses several different problems, in various fields where modem statistical offers a unifying point of view: we will study complex systems in a number of research areas outside the traditional frontiers of physics where the application of these methods looks particularly promising. They all relate to the collective behavior of heterogeneous agents, where the "agents" can be as diverse as logical constraints in optimization problems or error correcting codes, proteins in molecular networks, or economic agents.
Our proposal has four main directions.
- Combinatorial optimization problems. Optimization is naturally related to questions that are typical of statistical physics, like for example questions about energy landscapes, dynamics in these landscapes, thermalization and out-of-equilibrium processes at work in the algorithms.
- Error correcting codes. This is a field of significant practical importance. The observation that error correcting codes are mathematically equivalent to certain theoretical models of spin glasses makes it possible to use modem methods of the theory of disordered systems to obtain new results for error correcting codes, with particular emphasis on capacity, decoding performances and finite size effects.
- Biological systems. Biological systems are a source of interesting and relevant problems that can be successfully treated by methods of statistical physics. The recent accumulation of data on genetic sequences signals the existence of complex correlations in these systems, and calls for the development of new methods of analysis and classification of complex biological networks.
- Interacting agents in financial markets and socio-economic systems. Our strategy in these fields is to first identify relevant 'stylized facts' in empirical data and simple 'benchmark' models that can be analyzed in great detail using the concepts and tools from statistical physics. We shall focus on models of interacting a

Funding Scheme

NET - Research network contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITE DE PARIS-SUD XI
Address
Rue Georges Clémenceau 15, Batiment 100
91405 Orsay
France

Participants (10)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Rue Georges Clémenceau 15, Batiment 100
91405 Gometz La Ville
ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE
France
Address
45,Rue Lhomond 24
75231 Paris
ITALIAN INSTITUTE FOR THE PHYSICS OF MATTER
Italy
Address
Via Beirut 2-4
34100 Trieste
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
Address
Keble Road 1- Denys Wilkinson Building
OX1 3RH Oxford
UNIVERSITAET KOELN
Germany
Address
Zuelpicher Str. 77
50937 Koeln
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA
Spain
Address
647,Avenida Diagonal 647
08028 Barcelona
UNIVERSITY OF ASTON
United Kingdom
Address
Aston Triangle
B4 7ET Birmingham
UNIVERSITY OF FRIBOURG
Switzerland
Address
Perolles, Ch. De Musee
1700 Fribourg
UNIVERSITY OF ROME "LA SAPIENZA"
Italy
Address
Piazzale Aldo Moro 2-5
00185 Roma
WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Israel
Address
Herzl Street 2
76100 Rehovot