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Activity Matters - An Agent-based Framework of Active Matter with Applications in Biological and Social Systems
Speaker Prof. Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich
Date 27 August 2018 (Monday)
Time 10:30 - 12:00
Venue Room 4503 (Lifts 25-26), HKUST

Active matter, as other types of self-organizing systems, relies on the take-up of energy that can be used for different actions, such as active motion or structure formation. In this talk, I provide an agent-based framework to model these processes at different levels of organization, physical, biological and social, using the same dynamic approach. Driving variables describe the take-up, storage and conversion of energy, whereas driven variables describe the energy consuming activities. The stochastic dynamics of both types of variables follow a modified Langevin equation. Additional non-linear functions allow to encode system-specific hypotheses about the relation between driving and driven variables. To demonstrate the applicability of this framework, I recast a number of existing models of Brownian agents and Active Brownian Particles. Specifically, active motion, clustering and self-wiring of networks based on chemotactic interactions, online communication and polarization of opinions based on emotional influence are discussed. The framework allows to obtain critical parameters for active motion and the emergence of collective phenomena. This highlights the role of energy take-up and dissipation in obtaining different dynamic regimes. 



Frank Schweitzer has been Full Professor for Systems Design at ETH Zurich since 2004. He is also associated member of the Department of Physics at the ETH Zurich.  In his professional career, he worked for different research institutions (Max-Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Fraunhofer Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems, Sankt Augustin) and universities (Humboldt University Berlin, Cornell University Ithaca NY, Emory University, Atlanta GA).

The research of Frank Schweitzer focuses on applications of complex systems theory in the dynamics of social and economic organizations.  Frank Schweitzer was Editor-in-Chief of EPJ B "Statistical Physics and Complex Systems" (2007-2012), founding Editor-in-Chief of EPJ "Data Science" (2012-2017), and acts as Editor-in-Chief of "ACS - Advances in Complex Systems" for more than 10 years.