Control of Complex Systems

Network Control theory, Complexity Science, RNNs 

What is control of complex systems in our research?

The control of human behaviors goes beyond merely satisfying a controllability property. It involves strategically steering the system to prevent reaching tipping points or to reduce the impact of failures. This perspective marks a significant departure from the traditional control theory applied in neuroscience and human behavior studies, which often rely on the Kalman notion of full or partial controllability for all states. Unlike the control of robotic arms or valves, where an exact trajectory is ideal, biological agents, such as humans, navigate through extended periods characterized by numerous unobservable and time-varying complexities. These systems often display unpredictability at finer scales, while also revealing interpretable coarse-grained emergent properties. An example of this can be seen in the symptom trajectories in depression, where short-term fluctuations are considered normal, and only the coarse-grained trajectories are deemed relevant—a viewpoint consistently upheld across diagnostic guidelines.


A key focus is determining whether a specific network satisfies fundamental control properties like controllability and observability, particularly on coarse trajectories. Additionally, establishing these relationships across diverse temporal and spatial scales is essential, linking macroscopic behaviors (e.g., emotions) with microscopic dynamics (e.g., brain activity) to steer collective dynamics in a desired direction.

                                 Elina Stocker

Our Collaborators

Our research is heavily inter- and multi-disciplinary with a focus on computational methodologies. 

As such, we are closely collaborating with other groups within and outside our department who complement us in terms of methodological, clinical, and imaging expertise. 

  Medical Machine             Psychiatry                    Cognitive               Translational                 Learning                                                      Neuropsychiatry      Neuroimaging  

         Prof. Tim Hahn                  Prof. Tilo Kircher                 Prof. Igor Nenadić        Prof. Benjamin Straube


     Neuroimaging       Clinical Psychology         Language              Psychiatry and                                                                                         Technologies         Neurostimulation

    Prof. Andreas Jansen      Prof. Stefan G. Hofmann         Prof. Lucie Flek             Prof. Christoph Mulert


Dynamical Systems   Cognitive Modeling    Neurometabolic     Cell Models and                 Theory                                                              Circuitry             Parental Mental                                                                                                                                     Health

       Prof. Erfan Nozari         Prof. Marieke van Vugt   Dr. Sharmili E. Thanarajah       Prof. Sarah Kittel-                                                                                                                                                                Schneider



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Prof. Dr. Hamidreza Jamalabadi

Philipps-Universität Marburg
Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Rudolf-Bultmann-Straße 8
35039 Marburg

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