Research Teams

Collective Adaptive Systems

Collective Adaptive Systems refer to a form of complex systems where a large number of heterogeneous entities interact without specific external or internal central control, adapt their behaviour to environmental settings in pursuit of an individual or collective goal. Actual behaviour arises as an emergent property through swarm or collective intelligence. Examples include understanding emergence and social behaviour of natural life (e.g. bacteria self-organising to overcome shortage of food),  engineering swarm robotics, developing socio-technical systems  and more generally developing services  for smart and sustainable cities.

We lead and develop research in three main areas:

  • Studying natural systems (e.g. biological, social, human ones) and identifying essential models,  mechanisms and interactions at work at the heart of those systems, mostly through agent-based models, simulations and design patterns.
  • Designing and developing artificial collective adaptive systems and different forms of emergent behaviour  (e.g. swarm robotics, ecosystems of spatial services for smart cities, higher-order emergence) 
  • Verifying the reliability and trustworthiness of those systems prior to their deployment in real-life settings.


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