Two consortia Complexity – Programmable Self-organisation granted

24 May 2018

On 17 May the Board of the NWO Domain Science granted two applications in the research programme Complexity – Programmable Self-organisation. Phuong Nguyen and Wolf Mooij and their consortia will work on their research projects in the area of complex systems regarding principles of self-organisation. In total 12 preproposal applications were submitted, resulting in 6 full proposal applications.

Programmable systems, when deployed, interact with their environments, which these days are often other programmed systems. In this context, the intended desirable collective behaviour should emerge through the inter-actions. For example, trading software agents on the stock market should not only reach fair market prices, but also be resilient against malpractice. Autonomic cars should guarantee a safe and efficient traffic flow by avoiding traffic jams and accidents.
How can the intended desirable collective behaviour emerge from the inter-actions and how can undesired emergent behaviour be prevented? To answer such questions two consortia will study complex systems regarding principles of self-organisation.

The programme Complexity – Programmable Self-organisation is directed towards original and multidisciplinary research on challenges in mathematics and computing science that asks (a) how to steer/direct the emerging self organising behaviour of modular complex artefacts that are built from more simple interacting artefacts; and/or (b) how to influence the behaviour of already existing modular complex artefacts by manipulating its interacting components (e.g., distributed software systems). The call also contributes to the broader aim of the Grip on Complexity initiative to stimulate multidisciplinary cooperation and to bring together a community of researchers and users in the area of complex systems. Within the research projects researchers, companies and other stakeholders work together to align research and practise.

The available budget for this programme is € 1.0 million (one million euros) and is provided by the former NWO Governing Board. The following research proposals are granted (alphabetically by last name):

Predicting and preventing emergent cyanobacterial blooms in complex man-made Dutch hydrological networks on daily and yearly time scales
Prof. W.M. (Wolf) Mooij (m), Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)

Blooms of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) in surface waters pose a serious threat to public health and drinking water production. Blooms emerge under excessive nutrient supply and lack good predictive models. NIOO-KNAW, WUR and Deltares will develop new simulation models to predict and prevent bloom formation in complex man-made hydrological networks.

Self-organising marketplace to realise a self-organised sustainable power system - AGILE
Dr. P.H. (Phuong) Nguyen (m), Eindhoven University of Technology

AGILE builds on state-of-the-art transactive energy frameworks to design self-organising market mechanisms and corresponding distributed software to enable a sustainable electrical power system. The design ensures system resilience by adapting to unpredictable events while hiding intrinsic complexity to operators and users. This hypothesis will be tested via realistic laboratory-in-the-loop co-simulations.

Source: NWO