From blob to mob: a random walk through complex systems

Tuesday, 17. July 2018
15.15 – 15.45

Room P603

Prof. Iain Couzin

Prof. Simon Garnier, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA

Prof. Simon Garnier from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA works on multiple study organisms, from slime mold to humans, His work has broad relevance across departments, including in collective robotics. While in Konstanz, he will deliver a presentation “From blob to mob: a random walk through complex systems” (abstract below).


Animal and human societies can dynamically organize themselves and integrate information over multiple scales, both above (environment) and below (genetic, physiology) the level of the individuals. During the last 25 years, researchers from a diverse range of fields such as statistical physics, network theory and behavioral ecology have made enormous progress in understanding the relationship between these multiple scales and their role - positive AND negative - in the coordination of multiple, interacting organisms. During this talk I will present ongoing research in my lab on topics ranging from primitive cognition in slime mold to self-assembly in army ants to group cohesion in ungulate herds to crime forecasting in large cities. In each case I will discuss our findings about the role of interactions within the group and with the surrounding environment, the mechanisms by which information is transferred and integrated by the whole, and the conditions in which the collective dynamics succeeds and fails.