Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Complexity on the workbench

Today’s technical systems contain more and more components which are typically networked and interacting with each other. So, these systems become very complex, which makes it difficult to engineer and maintain the system using traditional, hierarchical approaches.
Looking into complex systems in nature, we see that they are controlled by distributed self-organizing mechanisms that are simple, scalable, robust, and adaptive. However, putting a self-organizing approach into technical systems is not straightforward, because such complex systems are typically hard to predict. A particular change in an interaction mechanism might even have counter-intuitive effects.
In nature, the driving mechanism behind building self-organizing behavior is evolution - why not use the very same method in form of an evolutionary algorithm?
However, there is a need to integrate different tools and models like neural networks, mutation and recombination, and problem-specific simulations. With our tool FREVO we provide a unifying framework to reduce this problem to basically three components: a problem representation, an agent representation and an evolutionary algorithm.
FREVO has been used to solve quite different problems and is available as open source to everyone. It is a very flexible framework open to new components and simulations, thus, we are looking forward to see you testing your ideas with it :-)

This talk was given by István Fehérvári at FET 2011 in the science café. This work was supported in part by the Lakeside Labs project MESON (Modeling and Engineering of Self-Organizing Networks) and the Lakeside Labs GmbH.

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