Research lines

MDM_ResearchLines


The research lines described below require strong synergies and an interdisciplinary research environment such as the one existing at IFISC and which, in turn, benefits from the concentration of resources of the MdM award. 


L1: INFORMATION PROCESSING IN BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

Living beings perform information-processing tasks of incredible complexity, at a variety of scales ranging from the molecular and cellular level to the organic level, whole organisms and ecosystems. We address several of these processes, highlighting the common aspects that are recurrent at all scales.  Main topics include:

  • Information processing in biochemical networks, brain circuits and structures, and ecological networks
  • Genetic diversity in ecosystems and its response to environmental changes
  • Biodiversity patterns, especially in microbial communities; alternative ways to encode and store information


L2: BRAIN-INSPIRED ANALOG COMPUTING IN PHOTONIC AND ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS

This research line focuses on information processing by complex systems targeting the development and realization of brain- and complex systems-inspired analog computing concepts. To this end, we use photonic, electronic and hybrid dynamical systems as physical substrates, as well as software implementations. Main topics include:

  • Hardware implementations of reservoir computing and their applications in telecom and datacom
  • Development of novel computing concepts, theoretical framework for scaling and modelling
  • Autonomous operation of recurrent networks 


L3: QUANTUM INFORMATION: DECOHERENCE, DISSIPATION AND TRANSMISSION

The paradigm of classical information has been challenged by the expected quantum superiority in computing, cryptography, and probing beyond standard limits. In this line, our aim is twofold. First, we will analyse the fundamentals of information processing in complex quantum systems, in particular the role of decoherence and dissipation. Second, we will propose quantum devices with new functionalities that lead to high-speed, low-consumption computation and secure communication. Main topics include:

  • Emergent quantum phenomena and information retrieval in extended and network systems
  • New functionalities based on nanoelectronic devices
  • Information processing using quantum materials


L4: INFORMATION PROCESSING IN SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEMS

Socio-technical systems are inherent processors of information. Interactions between people, people-machine and machine-machine are behind collective phenomena as opinion formation, rumour and epidemic spreading, systemic failures and, in general, cascade propagation. In this line of research, the main objective is to gain a better understanding of these system dynamics at different levels. Main topics include:

  • Evolution of social-system and processing of information: opinion, consensus, meme spreading, fake news, etc.
  • Studies of mobility of people and animals;
  • Data-driven modelling and response of urban systems to external perturbations.

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