IST Lunch Bunch

Tuesday February 11, 2014 12:00 PM

Universal Laws and Architectures: Nets, Grids, Brains, and Bugs

Speaker: John Doyle, Caltech
Location: Annenberg 105

This talk will focus on progress towards a more "unified" theory for complex networks motivated primarily by neuroscience, cell biology, medicine and technology (internet, smartgrid, sustainable infrastructure), 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, but also cell biology, human physiology, physics (turbulence, statistical mechanics), and technology, also drawing on hopefully more familiar and accessible examples from dance, art, music, literature, fashion, buildings, cities, law, finance, paleontology, and the recent popular obsession with zombies.

Hard limits on measurement, prediction, communication, computation, decision, and control, as well as the underlying physical energy and material conversion mechanism necessary to implement these abstract process are at the heart of modern mathematical theories of systems in engineering and science (often associated with names such as Shannon, Poincare, Turing, Gödel, Bode, Wiener, Heisenberg, Carnot,…).  They form the foundation for rich and deep subjects that are nevertheless now introduced at the undergraduate level.  Unfortunately, these subjects remain largely fragmented and incompatible, even as the tradeoffs between these limits are essential to understanding human physiology and neuroscience, and are of growing importance in building integrated and sustainable infrastructure and systems.   We will aim for an accessible summary of how they do and don't relate to each other, and progress and prospects for a more integrated theory.  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 Humans40:839-852.

[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, P Natl Acad Sci USAvol. 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  

Series IST Lunch Bunch

Contact: Sydney Garstang at 626-395-4555