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Dynamical systems and control: computation, identification and modelling

Research project P5/22 (Research action P5)

Persons :

Description :

Our goal is to use the collaborative tools made possible by the IAP environment to pursue a double objective:

- produce research results that are at the forefront of international research in our areas of excellence within the discipline of dynamical systems and control;
- provide the best possible environment for the training of our PhD students.

In pursuing this goal we want to build on our past experience of collaboration and on the successful initiatives we have taken in the previous two phases of the IAP programme, while at the same time taking full advantage of the significant strengthening of our network over the last ten years.

In terms of initiatives and collaboration, this means that we plan to continue and strengthen the mechanisms for scientific exchange and for postgraduate training that we have successfully developed in the previous IAP: graduate school in systems and control, regular study days, co-supervision of PhD students by members from different teams, invitation of high level international visitors, focused research groups across teams. The basic goal here is to create a most exciting scientific environment for our PhD students and post-docs.

In terms of research directions, we plan to continue to work on a rather broad range of fundamental research problems within the discipline of dynamical systems and control, with a greater emphasis on the computational aspects of systems and control problems. Our selection of research topics will be guided essentially by the areas in which our network has top level expertise, or where the combination of complementary expertise within our staff allows us to address problems that can not be addressed by people who work more in isolation. Our main areas of expertise - and hence our planned research directions - are those selected in the 9 work packages described in Section I.5 of this proposal: numerical linear algebra and numerical solution of large scale problems, control and optimization, modelling and dynamics of networks, modelling and complexity of discrete dynamics, linear and nonlinear system identification, modelling and control in (bio-)chemical reactions and in biomedical systems.

In taking the options described above, we are reinforced by the evaluation and recommendations of the experts who evaluated our previous network (IAP IV/2). We quote some key paragraphs of their report:

- It is our opinion that that the IAP-Network on Modelling, Identification, Simulation, and Control of Complex Systems, in international comparison, is the strongest coordinated research structure in the systems/control area.
- The research topics selected by the Network are all of central importance in the area, and are all subject to intense research around the world. In almost all of these areas the Network researchers have leading international positions.
- In the planning of the research areas the fortunate situation has arisen that there has been substantial and most fruitful cross-fertilization on the borderlines between the selected topics, most notably between computational aspects and systems/control aspects.
- We do not see any reasons to change a winning strategy. We fully support the plans indicated by the Network for the next period, to expand the area of computational issues, and to extend the group from five to seven teams (by spinning off the groups of Van Impe and Sepulchre to separate groups within the Network). Increasing the activities on the borderlines between computation and systems/control we believe will continue to be most fruitful in the next period.

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