Research Progress

Research Progress in Fiscal 2011

Fiscal 2011 (April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012) was essentially the second year of our project. Specific and full-scale research of this project has been progressed based on the primary and fundamental research conducted up to fiscal 2010, and we have reconsidered and strengthened our research organization in order to address issues and matters raised in the follow-up meeting held in September 2011.

Specifically, we have conducted a total of 8 theme workshops on important and transdisciplinary research issues which are outside purview of each sub-project, with intention of in-depth discussion on the specific issues and pursuing collaborations among sub-projects. Further, meetings and workshops (3 sub-project meetings, 3 research camps, 33 team meetings and team-leader meetings) were held to discuss the roadmap to clarify the research objectives and specifically unify various themes from different sub-projects.
During the meetings and workshops, important themes were comprehensively reorganized and refined. In fiscal 2011, we have added 10 sub-project members and 13 researchers (of which 2 have found employment elsewhere). We were also able to add 4 new international advisors (of which 2 are from industry).

The sub-project progress report for fiscal 2011 is as follows, with each research project progressing on or ahead of schedule.

Sub-project 1: We considered and structured a fundamental framework for integrating dynamical systems theory with control theory.
Sub-project 2: We conducted research on application of theory to existing complex engineering systems, validated and improved the implementation technology, and carried out specific analyses.
Sub-project 3: We conducted theoretical and applied research to supplement and bridge sub-projects 1 and 2, and examined the systematization of modelling complex systems with a view of their integration.

During fiscal 2011, a total of 73 academic papers were published, including 3 papers in Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) and 1 paper in Nature materials, 217 research presentations were made and 3 patent applications were submitted.

Meanwhile, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) provided comprehensive support for our project in its capacity as an operational support institution. The support included research management and coordination of activities of universities and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).


Research Progress in Fiscal 2010

Fiscal 2010 (April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011) was essentially the first year of our project, as it was in this year that we created an organizational system designed to fully implement the research project from fiscal 2011 onwards. We also developed the fundamental concepts for the research project, resolved the principal problems, and examined the basic issues.

Since this project is primarily focused on theoretical research, it was particularly important that we recruit highly qualified research personnel. Given this, we recruited seven researchers and a total of nine sub-project members and co-researchers in fiscal 2010. In addition, we ran three recruitment campaigns in fiscal 2010 to recruit qualified researchers for fiscal 2011 onwards, and following a thorough selection process, we were able to recruit eight new researchers. Starting with a joint kick-off meeting, we also held regular research meetings (4 sub-project meetings and 21 team meetings) and discussions on each of the various research themes. In February 2010, we held an international symposium, to which we invited 23 distinguished professors from countries around the world.

Sub-project progress report for fiscal 2010:

Sub-project 1: We continued to study the concepts behind dynamical systems theory and control theory, in order to examine the basic issues that need to be considered for the integration of the two theories.
Sub-project 2: We analyzed problems associated with existing technologies for complex engineering systems, in order to ascertain how to solve these problems. We also explored basic problems involved in designing hardware for information processing through complex systems.
Sub-project 3: We continued to investigate and develop methods and models for the mathematical analysis of complex systems, in order to perform basic analysis and to formulate and examine fundamental concepts.

In fiscal 2010, owing to the progress we had made in our research, we were able to publish a comprehensive book entitled Modeling Biomolecular Networks in Cells: Structures and Dynamics (London: Springer, 2010) and edit a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, in which 12 papers were published on the theme “Theory of Hybrid Dynamical Systems and Its Applications to Biological and Medical Systems (Editor: Kazuyuki Aihara)”.

Meanwhile, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) provided comprehensive support for our project in its capacity as an operational support institution. The support they provided included organizing international symposiums, carrying out research management, and coordinating the activities of the universities and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).


Research Progress in Fiscal 2009

In this research project, we started by integrating dynamical systems theory and control theory—which were developed in the fields of mathematics and engineering, respectively—in order to develop an advanced control theory of complex systems based primarily on the theory of hybrid dynamical systems. Next, using the advanced control theory of complex systems developed in our project and various theories of mathematical analysis (such as a theory of complex networks and a theory of nonlinear time series analysis), we are developing a mathematical theory for modelling complex systems. At the same time, we are applying the mathematical theory to provide solutions to various urgent social issues and important economic or industrial issues that require much attention. We will then feed the results of these applications back into the theoretical research with a view to establishing a comprehensive foundation for the science and technology of complex systems. For this research project, the University of Tokyo established the Collaborative Research Center for Innovative Mathematical Modelling at the University of Tokyo (Center Director: Kazuyuki Aihara) in order to develop a suitable environment for the research. As a result, we created a joint industry-university research system supported by various universities such as the University of Tokyo and companies, and are now conducting research with operational support from the JST.

Sub-project progress report for fiscal 2009:

Sub-project 1: We started to study the basic concepts behind dynamical systems theory and control theory.
Sub-project 2: We started to analyze problems regarding computation technologies used for complex systems and existing technologies for the engineering applications of complex networks.
Sub-project 3: We started to investigate and develop methods and models for the mathematical analysis of complex systems, in order to develop basic concepts for the mathematical theory of modelling complex systems.

The support provided by the JST included concluding contracts and agreements with universities and core researcher, assisting in the preparation of various documents, and coordinating the activities of the universities and the JSPS.