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C3 camps

Learn how to study and model complex systems
At our research camps, we consider how to trace and predict the behaviour of systems that are too complex for typical reductionist reasoning.

About the camps

The Complexity, Criticality and Computation (C3) camps are designed to develop the knowledge and skills required to study complex systems.

Humans are typically inclined to use reductionist logic. To understand how a system would behave overall, or to test whether a human-made system works as it was intended to, we put it through a series of short, discrete scenarios, expecting a ‘correct' response to each scenario.

However, complex systems do not lend themselves to short, discrete scenarios. Not all scenarios have clear endings or known, correct answers. The study of complex systems is about understanding indirect effects. 

How do we evaluate the usability of, or predict the behaviour of systems that are too complex for our typical reductionist reasoning? The answer to this question is not intuitive or trivial, and a specific skill set needs to be developed in order to answer it.

The next camp will take place in December 2019, following on from a C3 symposium.

2019 camp

The camp includes 2 days across multiple scales, from the game of Go to galaxy morphology. Each topic is covered over a two-hour tutorial, delivered by complex systems experts from the Centre for Complex Systems and overseas. For a full list of topics, see the Program.

  • Dr Michael Harre, The University of Sydney, "Fractal structure in the game of Go"
  • A/Prof Tiago de Paula Peixoto, Central European University, "Network inference"
  • Dr Somwrita Sarkar, The University of Sydney, "Cities as complex systems: an urban science and data"
  • Dr Ben Fulcher, The University of Sydney, "Feature-based time-series analysis"
  • A/Prof Joseph Lizier, The University of Sydney, "Using information theory for empirical analysis of complex systems using JIDT"
  • Dr X. Rosalind Wang, The Western Sydney University/CSIRO, “Complexity measures for radio galaxy morphology analysis"

2016 camp

In 2016, we hosted a 5 day camp, which covered three research themes: 

  • models for complex systems
  • complex biological systems
  • complex adaptive systems.

Each theme was covered in a number of three-hour tutorials, delivered by complex systems experts from the Centre for Complex Systems and overseas.

Models for complex systems
  • Professor Mikhail Prokopenko: information-theoretic measures of complexity
  • Dr Michael Harre: agent-based simulations of complex interactions in game theory
Complex biological systems 
  • Dr Paula Sanz-Leon:  brain networks dynamics
  • Associate Professor Manoj Gambhir: computational epidemiology
  • Dr Petr Matous and Dr Mahendra Piraveenan: social networks
  • Dr Jamie Wood: modelling collective motion - from noise to ecology
Complex adaptive systems
  • Professor Anne-Marie Grisogono: adaptation and emergence in complex systems
  • Dr Justin Werfel: bio-inspired and swarm engineering, and evolutionary dynamics
  • Associate Professor Eduardo Altmann: statistical laws of extreme events
  • Professor Ian Ford: entropy-reducing dynamics of a double demon?

Professor Mikhail Prokopenko

Director, Centre for Complex Systems
  • School of Computer Science Building J12