Tag Archives: systems biology

Control of Complex Networks

Control of the eukaryotic cell cycle of budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (from Nature.com, click for details)

Network science has allowed us to understand the organization of complex systems across disciplines. However, there is a need to understand how to control them; for example, to identify strategies to revert a diseased cell to a healthy state in cancer treatment. Recent work in the field—based on linear control theory—suggests that the controllability of complex systems can be predicted solely from the graph of interactions between variables, without considering their dynamics. Such graph-based approaches have been used, for instance, to suggest that biological systems are harder to control and have appreciably different control profiles than social or technological systems. The methodology has also been increasingly used in many applications from financial to biochemical networks.

In work published today in Nature Scientific Reports, CNetS graduate student Alexander Gates and Professor Luis Rocha demonstrate that such graph-based methods fail to characterize controllability when dynamics are introduced. The study computed the control profiles of large ensembles of multivariate systems as well as existing Systems Biology models of biochemical regulation in various organisms.

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Luis Rocha

Luis Rocha
Luis Rocha

School of Informatics and Computing
Indiana University

My web site and Research Lab (CASCI).


Luis M. Rocha is Professor of Informatics and Cognitive Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. He is director of the Complex Networks & Systems graduate Program in Informatics, member of the Indiana University Network Science Institute, and core faculty of the Cognitive Science Program at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. Dr. Rocha is a Fulbright Scholar and is also Principal Investigator and the director of the Computational Biology Collaboratorium and in the Direction of PhD program in Computational Biology at the Instituto Gulbenkian da Ciencia, Portugal. His research is on complex networks & systems, Computational & Systems Biology, and Computational Intelligence and he is the Principal Investigator of the Complex Adaptive Systems & Computational Intelligence lab (CASCI). He received his Ph.D in Systems Science in 1997 from the State University of New York at Binghamton. From 1998 to 2004 he was a permanent staff scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he founded and led a Complex Systems Modeling Team during 1998-2002, and was part of the Santa Fe Institute research community. He has organized major conferences such as the Tenth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems (Alife X) and the Ninth European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2007). He has published many articles in scientific and technology journals, and has been the recipient of several scholarships and awards. At Indiana University, he has received the Indiana University, School of Informatics & Computing, Trustees Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006 and 2015 after developing the complex systems training program and syllabi for several courses. Additional information about Prof. Rocha’s research, academic and personal activities is available on his website. Contact Information:

In The USA:
Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research
School of Informatics & Computing
Indiana University, 919 E. 10th St
Bloomington IN, 47408, USA

In Portugal:
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência
Rua da Quinta Grande, 6
Apartado 14, P-2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal

Course and research-related blogs


Complex Adaptive Systems and Computational Intelligence

The Complex Adaptive Systems and Computational Intelligence (CASCI) group at Indiana University and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia works on complex networks & systems and their applications to informatics, biology, health, and social systems. We are particularly interested in the informational properties of natural and artificial systems which enable them to adapt and evolve. This means both understanding how information is fundamental for controlling the behavior and evolutionary capabilities of complex systems, as well as abstracting principles from natural systems to produce adaptive information technology.

Our research projects are on complex networks & systems, computational and systems biology, and computational intelligence; all our publications are available online as are news about our group. Additional information available on Luis Rocha’s Website and our group page at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia.

See our current roster and information on how to join our group. As a group, we are seriously interconnected with other research groups and networks: The Center for Complex Networks and Systems (CNets), the Indiana University Network Science Institute, the Cognitive Science Program, the FLAD Computational Biology Collaboratorium, the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, and the Champalimaud Neuroscience Program.

You are welcome to join our mailing list CASCI-L by sending an email message to list@list.indiana.edu from the address you want to subscribe to the list, with subject line: subscribe CASCI-L Firstname Lastname (leave the message body blank.) More detailed instructions are available.