"Self-organisation" is the evolution of a system into an organised form in the absence of explicit external influences or centralised control. It brings many attractive properties to systems such as robustness, adaptability and scalability. Self-organising systems can be found practically everywhere: gene regulatory networks self-organise into complex patterns and attractors, self-healing sensor networks reconfigure their topology in response to damage, animal swarms change shape in response to an approaching predator, robotic modules self-organise into coordinated motion patterns, and ecosystems develop spatial structures in response to diminishing resources. The unit will study pattern formation and the common principles behind similar patterns in nature and socio-technical systems, developing a critical understanding of self-organisation, and complex adaptive systems applied to technological, social, organisational and biological systems. It will cover cross-disciplinary concepts and methods based on information theory, nonlinear dynamics, including elements of chaos theory and statistical physics, such as fractals, percolation, entropy, open dissipative systems, phase transitions and critical phenomena.
Through semester assessment (100%)