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Foundational Research on Multilevel
Complex Networks and Systems (MULTIPLEX)
European Commission. FET Proactive IP Project number 317532
Summary of the project: The Science of Complex Systems has been recently rather successful. However, further progress in the ICT domain is hampered by the lack of deep knowledge about how multi-level complex systems organize and operate. Preliminary results show that interactions at different levels behave in a significantly different way than in an isolated level. For example, such dependencies may induce cascading failures and sudden collapses of the entire system, as indeed was observed in recent large-scale electricity blackouts. Thus, a better understanding of the structure of such systems is essential for future ICT and for improving and securing everyday life in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. This makes the science of complex networks particularly suitable for the exploration of the many challenges that we face today, including critical infrastructures and communication systems, as well as techno-social and socioeconomic networks. MULTIPLEX proposes the development of a mathematical, computational and algorithmic framework for the study of multi-level complex networks. The results of the project will represent a noteworthy paradigm shift, beyond which a significant progress in the understanding, prediction, control, and optimization of the dynamics and robustness of complex multi-level systems can be made. Through a combination of mathematical analysis, modelling approaches and the use of huge heterogeneous data sets, we will address several relevant aspects related to the topological and dynamical organization and evolution of multi-level complex networks. Additionally, the theories, models and algorithms produced by MULTIPLEX will be tested and validated in real-world systems of relevance in the economical, technological and societal arena. The long-term vision of the project will allow the use of the developed formalisms in other areas of complexity science and will supply crucial tools for governmental policy makers, other stakeholders and end-users.