Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Stochasticity and chaos as potent promoters of cooperation and order in physical systems and society

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.02.02  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics  Theoretical physics 

Code Science Field
P002  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physics 
Stochasticty, Chaos, Cooperation, Spatially extended systems, Game theory
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (1)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  23428  PhD Matjaž Perc  Physics  Head  2007 - 2008  654 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0589  University of Maribor, Faculty of Education  Maribor  5089638013  12,933 
2.  2547  University of Maribor, Faculty of natural sciences and mathematics  Maribor  5089638051  17,658 
Stochasticity and chaos are intuitively considered to be synonyms for destructive factors in the evolution of artificial and real-life systems. This intuitive perception has been increasingly shattered during the last decade as scientists in physical and natural sciences reveal ever new mechanisms of order infliction by unpredictable disturbances in otherwise disordered systems. These phenomena, known under the general term stochastic resonance, have been reported in diverse scientific disciplines spanning over virtually every branch of natural sciences. The aim of the present project is to explore the frontiers of these phenomena in yet unexplored physical and social systems such are spatially extended nonlinear systems modelling intercellular calcium signalisation or functioning of neural tissue, and mathematical models developed in the framework of evolutionary game theory describing the evolution of cooperation and altruism in human and animal societies. Thus, a successful execution of the project would reveal new mechanism by which order and cooperative behaviour can emerge out of noise at microscopic cellular, tissue and even macroscopic society level. The results of the project are potentially applicable in physical, medical and social sciences, where judiciously introduced unpredictable disturbances can improve and facilitate system functioning in the broadest possible sense, either, for example, by enhancing the overall population gain and social welfare, or maintaining externally induced self-organized activity in the neural tissue, thus facilitating continuous evolution of mechanisms for information retrieval and storage of the human brain.
Significance for science
Results of the project reveal new mechanisms via which unpredictable disturbances and complex networks constructively affect order and coherence in physical systems and societies. Especially the constructive effect on the social dynamics is new, and thus represents a substantial contribution to the scientific development, facilitating an interdisciplinary approach that nowadays seems of essential importance for success and propagation. Results of the project also indicate new and innovative directions of treatment techniques for certain diseases at the cellular level, thereby additionally enriching the scientific literature. Within the postdoctoral project we have also revealed new ways of how to achieve synchronization among entities with diverse and evolving properties, both in social and physical systems. Physics of social systems, or the so-called sociophysics, offers many open questions and challenges for the following years, and we are certain that the results of this project will significantly contribute to the continuing development and growth of this avenue of research in the future.
Significance for the country
Because the performed studies are via evolutionary game theory intimately linked with economy and sociology, the results of the project surely have weight, albeit in an indirect manner, also in the light of the socio-economic development of the Republic of Slovenia. In particular the specification of optimal conditions, in the sense of the type and strength of external perturbations as well as interaction networks, at which cooperation and with it related social welfare is maximal, can have a positive effect on the socio-economic development of Slovenia, provided, of course, an appropriate interest and engagement of competent individuals and/or institutions is at hand. Disturbances are easily integrated into an institution or the socio-economic apparatus in general, either through praise, punishment or awards, which, if appropriately selected, can raise the productivity and output of a company. Of course more successful individuals have to be awarded more often and vice versa. Although the outlined approach appears trivial and often used, the studies performed in the framework of the postdoctoral project reveal precise mechanisms and optimal conditions at which these rather simple techniques have the optimal effect. One of the primary goals of this postdoctoral project also was to produce new and useful knowledge that can compete with related output from scientists around the World. The successful execution is thus putting Slovenia on the map of leading advances in the fields of research tackled within the project. At the same time, the output of the project is now readily available to interested individuals or institutions, thus effectively fostering the propagation of this knowledge to sectors that are essentially detached from scientific advancements made within physics.
Most important scientific results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
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