• P.I.: Raúl Toral
  • Coordinator: Raúl Toral

This project, Physics approach to complexity in sociotechnical systems (PACSS), wants to contribute to the understanding of sociotechnical phenomena from the perspective provided by the application of the modern field of complex systems with an emphasis on modeling and the availability of massive data. The project is submitted to the area of Physics as this discipline, and in particular statistical physics, provides the skeleton on which, not just the methodological aspects, but also the approach of the basic hypothesis of modeling are based: interaction between agents with a relatively simple dynamics leading to emergent behavior. The proposal considers problems that arise when analyzing social changes that appear as a collective behavior generated by the effect of interactions between individuals, in many cases mediated by new communication technologies.
This study of emerging properties in sociotechnical systems is the evolution of a previous project, ESoTECoS (Emergent social, technical and ecological complex systems) FIS2015-63628 in which four of the researchers of the IFISC (Institute for Crossdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems) and members of the present research team participated (the other two researchers that contribute to this project were not part of the staff of the institute at the time) that was then financed within the same program of Challenges. The project is coordinated for administrative reasons, although effectively, all researchers belong to the staff of the same institute, either as part of the University of the Balearic Islands or the CSIC.
PACSS contains two work-packages: WP1 is devoted to the study of the basic mechanisms in social models, and WP2 focuses on data- driven research. WP1 is divided into six tasks: Task 1.0 addressing general aspects of stochastic modeling and providing underpinning to virtually all other tasks. Task 1.1 is on aging in social systems, Task 1.2 on game theory and evolutionary dynamics, Task 1.3 on coevolution of networks and dynamical processes, Task 1.4 on search algorithms and rare events and, finally, Task 1.5 on the effect of delay in the dynamics of social systems. The output of this more theoretical work is instrumental to advancing the Tasks in WP2. Task 2.0 is concerned with collecting and cleaning data to be used in WP2. Task 2.1 focuses on cities and mobility, Task 2.2 on power grid, Task 2.3 on epidemic spreading. In Task 2.4 we will study language evolution and Task 2.5 focuses on competition for attention in online systems and relations to models of ecology. Task 2.6 finally is on complex contagion mechanisms in opinion formation and the adoption of new technologies.
The project has started in 2019 and will run until the end of 2021.


  • Pere Colet

    Pere Colet

  • Sandro Meloni

    Sandro Meloni

  • Jose Javier Ramasco

    Jose Javier Ramasco

  • Maxi San Miguel

    Maxi San Miguel

  • Raúl Toral

    Raúl Toral

Recent Publications

Ordering dynamics in the voter model with aging

Peralta,A.F.;Khalil,N.;Toral R.
Submitted (2019)

Herding and idiosyncratic choices: Nonlinearity and aging-induced transitions in the noisy voter model

Artime, Oriol; Carro, Adrián; F. Peralta, Antonio; Ramasco, José J.; San Miguel, Maxi; Toral, Raúl .
Submitted (2019)

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