Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
Personal tools
Log in


Monday, 13.07.2015 17 c.t.

What is "information dynamics" and what can it tell us?

by Dr. Joseph Lizier
from School of Civil Engineering, University of Sydney, Australia

Contact person: Viola Priesemann


MPI DS seminar room (0.77/0.79)


The space-time dynamics of interactions in complex systems, artificial life, neural data, etc., are often described using terminology of information processing or computation, in particular with reference to information being stored, transfered and modified in these systems. In this talk, I describe a framework -- information dynamics -- that we have used to quantify each of these operations on information, and their dynamics in space and time. Not only does this framework quantitatively align with natural qualitative descriptions of these systems, it provides multiple complementary perspectives on how, where and why a system is exhibiting complexity. We will review various applications of this framework at a high level, describing what it can and indeed has revealed in these domains. In particular, using applications to cellular automata, flocking models and neural images, we show that the space-time dynamics of information storage, transfer and modification directly reveal how distributed computation is implemented in a system, highlighting information processing hot-spots and emergent computational structures such as information cascades. Next, via applications to several models of dynamical networks, RoboCup football data as well as human brain images, we demonstrate how information dynamics relates the structure of complex networks to their function, and how it can invert such analysis to infer structure from dynamics. Finally, we explore maximisations in capacity for these operations on information as a system approaches criticality (e.g. using the Ising model), and the extent to which they may be used to guide self-organisation.

back to overview