Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Computationally intensive complex systems

January 1, 2019 - December 31, 2027
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.01.03  Natural sciences and mathematics  Mathematics  Numerical and computer mathematics 
1.07.03  Natural sciences and mathematics  Computer intensive methods and applications  Simulations 

Code Science Field
P001  Natural sciences and mathematics  Mathematics 

Code Science Field
1.01  Natural Sciences  Mathematics 
complex systems, computational mathematics, agent-based modeling, universality, optimization, networks, big data analysis, cooperation, adaptation, competition, biodiversity, numerical ecology, ecosystem resilience, plant communities
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on June 19, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  1,578  92,652  87,409  55.39 
Scopus  1,679  103,428  97,852  58.28 
Researchers (50)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  55937  Kristijan Brglez  Mathematics  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024 
2.  35663  PhD Petra Cajnko  Economics  Researcher  2021 
3.  50420  PhD Tine Curk  Chemistry  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
4.  31096  PhD Matevž Črepnjak  Mathematics  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
5.  03517  PhD Dušan Devetak  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2020 
6.  29578  PhD Brina Dojer  Chemistry  Researcher  2019 - 2022 
7.  52035  Maja Duh  Physics  Junior researcher  2019 - 2024 
8.  04316  PhD Igor Emri  Mechanics  Retired researcher  2021 - 2024 
9.  50186  PhD Jasmina Ferme  Mathematics  Technical associate  2019 - 2020 
10.  23005  PhD Ajda Fošner  Mathematics  Researcher  2021 
11.  53907  Martin Fras    Technical associate  2020 
12.  37458  PhD Martin Gladović  Chemistry  Technical associate  2019 - 2020 
13.  53595  Eva Horvat  Biology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2024 
14.  06084  PhD Bojan Hvala  Mathematics  Researcher  2019 - 2021 
15.  32728  PhD Danijel Ivajnšič  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2020 
16.  13134  PhD Franc Janžekovič  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
17.  55270  Andreja Jeza    Technical associate  2021 
18.  32587  PhD Marko Jukič  Pharmacy  Researcher  2022 - 2023 
19.  10352  PhD Mitja Kaligarič  Biology  Researcher  2019 
20.  37839  PhD Aleksander Kelenc  Mathematics  Technical associate  2019 
21.  37865  PhD Eva Klemenčič  Physics  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
22.  30210  PhD Tina Klenovšek  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
23.  31960  PhD Vesna Klokočovnik  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
24.  36794  PhD Martin Klvana  Biotechnology  Researcher  2019 
25.  25662  PhD Rebeka Kovačič Lukman  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
26.  22680  PhD Mitja Lainščak  Cardiovascular system  Researcher  2021 - 2022 
27.  19568  PhD Janja Majer Kovačič  Chemistry  Researcher  2021 - 2022 
28.  55271  Maja Medved    Technical associate  2021 - 2022 
29.  32248  PhD Matej Merhar  Mathematics  Researcher  2019 - 2020 
30.  23428  PhD Matjaž Perc  Physics  Head  2019 - 2024 
31.  26533  PhD Igor Pesek  Educational studies  Researcher  2019 - 2021 
32.  28407  PhD Nataša Pipenbaher  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2022 
33.  21444  PhD Mateja Ploj Virtič  Educational studies  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
34.  34301  Jan Podlesnik  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2021 
35.  58053  Melani Potrč  Physics  Junior researcher  2023 - 2024 
36.  55902  Vid Ravnik  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024 
37.  21815  PhD Robert Repnik  Physics  Researcher  2019 - 2020 
38.  32039  PhD Romana Rošic Danko  Pharmacy  Researcher  2021 
39.  50950  PhD Martin Rozman  Chemistry  Technical associate  2019 - 2020 
40.  11922  PhD Mitja Slavinec  Physics  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
41.  23592  PhD Milan Svetec  Physics  Researcher  2021 
42.  24674  PhD Nina Šajna  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
43.  19562  PhD Sonja Škornik  Biology  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
44.  33271  PhD Jure Škraban  Biotechnology  Researcher  2019 
45.  38409  Eva Španinger  Chemistry  Technical associate  2019 
46.  52509  Marko Šterk  Metabolic and hormonal disorders  Technical associate  2021 
47.  34110  PhD Tadeja Vajdič  Biotechnology  Researcher  2021 
48.  56212  PhD Matja Zalar  Biotechnology  Researcher  2023 
49.  22108  PhD Jernej Završnik  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
50.  15571  PhD Blaž Zmazek  Mathematics  Researcher  2019 - 2024 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  2547  University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics  Maribor  5089638051 
2.  0794  University of Maribor, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering  Maribor  5089638012  80 
When we observe the behavior of systems at large scales, we simplify the mathematical description of the system because there are fewer distinguishable states, and only a limited set of possible behaviors. This also means that systems that look different on a microscopic scale may not look different at the macroscopic scale, and their mathematical descriptions thus become the same. The transition when boiling a liquid to gas has the same properties as the one that occurs when a magnet is heated up to the point when it becomes nonmagnetic. Likewise, when the inequality in human societies becomes so large that majorities live at the brink of poverty, or when catastrophic shifts in ecosystems lead to mass extinctions and famine, similar transitions occur that are typically marked by significant changes in behavior and conflicts. Complex systems science has recently emerged as an umbrella discipline for the study of such universal, collective phenomena in a broad variety of social, biological, and technological systems. Our goal is to bring together knowledge from physics, biology, mathematics, and computer science in an innovative program, with the goal of bringing Slovenia at the forefront of complex systems research. We will focus on the following fields of study:  (i) algebraic, combinatorial and topological methods in complex systems research;  (ii) evolution of cooperation in human and animal societies;  (iii) competition due to resource limitations and species turnover;  (iv) interactions in plant communities over space and time; and  (v) complex behavior as a result of environmental changes.  All these subjects address fundamental challenges, ranging from the mitigation of social crisis and conflicts to the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity for future generations. Common to them all is the underlying theoretical framework of complex systems, at the heart of which are agent-based modeling, large-scale mathematical simulations, network science, big-data analysis, as well as complementary experimental and field work. An interdisciplinary team of experts with all the required expertise, and working in close proximity with one another, will be devoted to the successful completion of the research program. By fully integrating students and young researchers into our program, we will facilitate the circulation of knowledge and create a participatory work environment.  Ultimately, we expect to develop a predictive, computational theory that will allow us to better understand a rich variety of phenomena that rely on large-scale cooperative efforts in natural and man-made systems. Our findings will form the state-of-the-art in complex systems research, and have far-reaching practical applicability in developing more efficient policies for a sustainable future, in promoting biodiversity and cooperation, as well as in mitigating the spread of infectious disease, crime, and conflicts.
Significance for science
The popularity of complex systems science has risen dramatically over the past decade, which is confirmed by the fact that the number of research papers indexed by the Web of Science with the keyword "complex systems" has risen from just a little over 1000 in 2005 to 21.423 in 2017. Accordingly, complex systems science is here to stay, and it is solidifying its place as the science where advances from different fields come together in synergy and are further enriched to become widely applicable and important discoveries for the benefit of us all. A vision that is already a reality, and which we plan to nurture further to the best of our abilities with our research program. Based on the carefully selected research topics that we will focus on, we are certain to deliver groundbreaking, original results that will spur further research in complex systems science, not least due to the inherently interdisciplinary nature of our program. Our research directions include topics that are currently highly relevant and subject to intense ongoing work, such as the evolution of cooperation, competition due to resource limitations, and complex behavior due to environmental change. The plan laid out in our program is thus perfectly timed with the tides of progress in forefront complex systems research, and we are thus fully confident that we will contribute relevantly to this vibrant field. We will publish our research in the most influential scientific journals in different research areas, and we will participate in recognized international conferences to aid the dissemination of our results.  New algebraic, combinatorial and topological methods in complex systems research will enable us to use new models and develop algorithms in more efficient and simplified ways. Predictions related to behavioral dynamics in social media based on big data analytics will become more accurate and faster to obtain. Research related to the evolution of cooperation will reveal new mechanisms by means of which unpredictable disturbances, complex interaction topologies, and strategic complexity can constructively affect the evolution of cooperation in human and animal society. The explicit consideration of fitness in the modeling of living systems will bring us closer to applying the complex systems theory to actual real-life problems.  Studying complex networks that microbiota are developing as an adaptation response to global changes in biosphere as well as to nutritional and other limitations posed during bioindustrial settings will deepen our understanding of versatilities that different microbial cells are establishing to survive in dynamic environments. This will also enable us to continue our already running collaborations with established research groups (for example at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm). Moreover, a deeper understanding complex behavior of the microorganisms which are used at different sectors of the biotechnological industry will be important for applied science.  In addition to our national collaborators, which come from the University of Ljubljana and the Jozef Stefan Institute, we will also build on our already successful international collaboration, which already spans universities and research institutes across the globe. Our current partners come from ETH Zurich, from various institutes of the Max Planck Society, from Harvard and Yale, as well as from Boston University, Aalto University, Peking University, Tsinghua Univeristy, City University of Hong Kong, University of Bologna, University Ca’ Foscari Venice and Stockholm University, to name only the most notable. Through these collaborations, our work will improve the scientific communication among researchers with diverse backgrounds, and thus enhance the interconnectedness within the complex systems science community at both the national and the international level.  Since the program group includes members with expertise in physics, biology, mathematics, and c
Significance for the country
Our research program is aimed at bringing Slovenia at the forefront of complex systems research. All our main research directions are concerned with important, currently relevant real-world problems, and it is thus natural to expect that our work will have significant merit for the social, economic and cultural development of Slovenia. Specifically, because our planned research on cooperation is intimately linked with economy and sociology, the results of the program will surely have weight in the light of the socioeconomic development of Slovenia. In particular the specification of optimal conditions, in the sense of the strength of the interdependence of interaction topologies and strategic complexity, at which cooperation and with it related social welfare is maximal, can have a positive effect on the socio-economic development, provided, of course, an appropriate interest and engagement of competent individuals and/or institutions is at hand. The studies performed in the framework of the program will reveal precise mechanisms and optimal conditions at which rather simple techniques have the optimal effect on the evolution of cooperation in interacting populations. Moreover, the often-employed hierarchical structure and the interdependence of the majority of organizations in the public sector will be put to the test, and it will be determined if it indeed provides an optimal organization for maximizing output and work efficiency. Preliminary studies show that this is not the case, and accordingly, appropriate alternatives will be presented. Given the appropriate engagement, benefits to the socio-economic development of Slovenia in the broadest possible sense can be anticipated. The program group will do everything possible to communicate the research findings to the public in a friendly and easy-to-understand manner.  Indirectly, studying and understanding the evolution of cooperation is of the outmost importance for the wellbeing of our societies, as well as for the understanding of the many fascinating examples of this behavior that can be observed in nature. There are many examples from biology, ecology, economics, and the social sciences, where an in-depth analysis of the spatiotemporal dynamics of cooperation is vital for the proper interpretation of the past and for the proper planning of the future. The insights gained by studying complex cooperative systems will also find applicability in engineering applications, specifically in the realm of coordination and control, where a stable optimal state may be reached gradually during the course of coevolution of the system’s performance and design. And while computationally intensive methods have a lot to offer when it comes to the study of complex systems, the public, in return, will find that the discovered solutions to many of the most pressing challenges of today require only modest alterations to the currently employed public policy.  Moreover, because of the climate change and the increasing population numbers all over the world, as well as because of disease outbreaks, many resources are getting scarce. In this context, a thorough understanding of the competition processes is crucial for efficient decision-making and for the establishment of future policies. This can help alleviate the problems by distributing scarce resources in benefit of human societies, wildlife, and ecosystems locally and globally.  Since our research is highly interdisciplinarity, other fields of research in Slovenia will be positively affected as well. We will organize scientific meetings and conferences to facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and by doing so strengthen the links between researchers in Slovenia and abroad. By establishing Slovenia at the forefront of complex systems research, our research will help raise the level of modern scientific thought in the country. Moreover, we plan to communicate our results to the wider public, which will solidify the importa
Most important scientific results Interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report
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