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The CABDyN Complexity Centre was established in July 2003 with seed funding under the EPSRC Novel Computation Initiative. The acronym CABDyN stands for Complex Agent-Based Dynamic Networks, and reflects our shared interest in network dynamics and agent-based models of complex systems across a broad range of application domains. CABDyN brings together a truly multi-disciplinary group of researchers in Oxford, ranging from the physical, biological and computational sciences to the social, economic and political sciences.


Our aim is to define shared research questions and transferable and generalisable methods and techniques which will enable a better understanding of the dynamic and functional properties of network structures encountered in different contexts and disciplines. This involves the development of new statistical measures to characterize network structures and properties, so that the key features of incompletely mapped or noisy empirical networks can be summarized efficiently. At the same time, we aim to elucidate the fundamental properties of different classes of parsimonious models in which agents are linked by non-trivial networks. We hope that the combination of these two strands of research may provide a better understanding of how the microstates of a networked system map into the global system behaviour, how global network characteristics influence the microstates, and what role intermediate mesoscopic structures play. This should allow us to understand network dynamics at many different scales, and will help elucidate functional network properties such as efficiency, robustness, persistence etc. Ultimately, we are committed to the development of tools and methods which enable the transfer of desirable properties from networks which have emerged and evolved in competitive environments, such as many biological and socio-economic systems, to designed networks, such as computer networks, supply chains or distributed organizations.


In order to support these goals we have established two specific activities to encourage a dialogue across different disciplines, so that a shared language appropriate to interdisciplinary research across application domains can be developed. The Network Journal Club provides researchers in Oxford and academic visitors with a forum to discuss journal articles as well as preliminary results from their own research and questions relating to methods and techniques. The CABDyN Seminars provide an opportunity for Oxford researchers to present more developed work such as working papers or recent publications to an interdisciplinary audience, as well as bringing in UK and international speakers to help us track relevant state-of-the-art research.