The Institute's research addresses live challenges within a broad set of application domains and fundamental problems in complex systems theory. Target systems span 22 orders of magnitude, from sub-atomic interactions to global processes. This breadth means that we engage with many of the themes identified as critical by, e.g., the UK Research Councils: Digital Economy, Intelligent Infrastructure, Changing Environment, Nanoengineering, Health, etc.
The Institute's application domains are unified in two important ways. First, they share a common concern with understanding how high-level phenomena arise from low-level interactions. Second, each application domain relies increasingly upon sophisticated simulation modelling to interpret data, understand emergent phenomena, generate theory and hypotheses, direct experimentation, optimise design, and predict system behaviour.
We have organised the research activity into domains and key themes:
However, there are deep shared questions and mutual synergies that span the selected domains. As a consequence, some research activities cut across this organisation. By working in this way, the Institute is able to tackle fundamental trans-disciplinary research in complex systems simulation and the tools supporting it. Cross-cutting questions include: modelling across spatial and temporal scales; biological systems as inspiration for non-biological systems (bio-inspired structure, organisation, computing, etc.); coupled adaptive processes (e.g., evolution and ecology, or drivers and adaptive transportation systems).