In the Center for Complexity and Collective Computation at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
Biological and social systems are often composed of many parts with complicated interactions. Many parts and many interaction rules means there are many ways to go wrong. Yet biological and social systems seem to be robust to perturbations that disable critical components. The goal of research in C4 on robustness and regulation is to determine what makes systems robust and how these mechanisms arise. Mechanisms of robustness such as redundancy, neutrality and non-linear feedback all play an important role in ensuring the persistence of complex systems, and minimizing the odds of them becoming chaotic and uncontrollable.