Research Interests

An ant is a simple organism. But an ant colony can build fascinatingly complex things, such as shaft systems to ventilate their nests. Despite simplicity of a neural cell, a system of neurons generates profoundly intricate phenomena such as the character of a person. Individual characters are, on the other hand, often in sharp contrast with the customs that spontaneously emerge in societies.

Most elaborate functions in natural systems typically require no central control. Instead, they emerge as collective behavior of many mutually interacting units, such as ants or neurons. Technology also relies on this paradigm, as modern life is unthinkable without Internet or mass transport.

My research focuses on understanding and characterizing such complex systems. Representing units as nodes and their interactions as links, I employ the framework of networks to develop computer simulations that capture their emergent properties. In last decades such approach has allowed for profound insights in natural, social and technological complex systems, involving fields as diverse as physics, biology, sociology and engineering.

More particular research directions I am pursuing include:

  • Understanding the interplay between network topology (connection patterns among the nodes) and its emergent behavior: how is the connectivity reflected in the collective function? Is there a way to measure a network structure, so that it can be compared with other networks' structures?

  • Development of reconstruction methods able be infer the unknown structure of examined network from the empirical data or experimental measurements. Such methods might be used to design networks with prescribed functions.

  • Designing realistic computational models of natural, social or technological phenomena that could allow for better understanding of their collective functioning or even open avenues for reliably predicting their behavior.

Besides complex networks, my research includes design of visualization methods in chaotic dynamical systems, applica-tions of ergodic theory, modeling of phase-resetting curves in neural systems, and problems related to quantum chaos.

Research Funding (active)

  • 2015-2018 "Complex Oscillatory Systems: Modeling and Analysis" (COSMOS), H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Innovative Training Networks - European Joint Doctorates. Total funds 3,878,000 EUR. Co-PI with Arkady Pikovsky, Michael Rosenblum, Aneta Stefanovska, Peter McClintock, Ralph Andrzejak, Ernest Montbrio, Andreas Daffertshoferm, Arjan Hillebrand, Roberto Livi, Duccio Fanelli, Thomas Kreuz, Maximilian Moser, Antonio Politi, Francesco Ginelli, Bjoern Schelter. Funding awarded: 235,000 EUR.

  • 2016-2019 "Slovenian scientists home and abroad", funded by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS). Total funds 50,000 EUR. Co-PI with Zlatko Šabič. Funding awarded: 7,350 EUR.

Research Funding (past)

  • 2013-2015 “Simulating bio-inspired technological networks”, subproject of the Creative Core FISNM-3330-13-500033 ’Simulations’, funded by The European Union and European Regional Development Fund. Total funds 995,000 EUR. Co-PI with Nadja Damij, Janez Povh, Blaž Rodič. Funding awarded: 248,700 EUR.

  • 2015-2015 "Network analysis of Novo mesto urban transport", funded by The Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund. Funding awarded: 7,700 EUR.

  • 2014-2015 Bilateral project with Institute of Physics Belgrade, Serbia, funded by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS). CoPI with Milovan Šuvakov. Funding awarded: 1,700 EUR.

  • 2014-2014 “Business innovations as evolutionary phenomena”, funded by The Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund. Funding awarded: 6,600 EUR.

  • 2012-2013 “Teaching and research collaboration for foreigners in Slovenia”, funded by The Slovene Human Resources Development and Scholarship Fund. Funding awarded: 15,000 EUR.