This talk will focus on progress towards a more “unified” theory for complex networks motivated by neuroscience, biology, and technology, and involving several elements: hard limits on achievable robust performance ( “laws”), the organizing principles that succeed or fail in achieving them (architectures and protocols), the resulting high variability data and “robust yet fragile” behavior observed in real systems and case studies (behavior, data), and the processes by which systems evolve (variation, selection, design). We will leverage a series of case studies from neuroscience, cell biology, human physiology, and technology to illustrate the implications of recent theoretical developments, also drawing on hopefully familiar examples from dance, art, music, literature, fashion, and the recent popular obsession with zombies.
Hard limits on measurement, prediction, communication, computation, decision, and control, as well as the underlying physical energy and material conversion mechanism necessary to implement these abstract process are at the heart of modern mathematical theories of systems in engineering and science (often associated with names such as Shannon, Poincare, Turing, Gödel, Bode, Wiener, Heisenberg, Carnot,…). They form the foundation for rich and deep subjects that are nevertheless now introduced at the undergraduate level. Unfortunately, these subjects remain largely fragmented and incompatible, even as the tradeoffs between these limits are essential to understanding human physiology and neuroscience, and are of growing importance in building integrated and sustainable systems. We will aim for an accessible summary of how they do and don’t relate to each other, and progress and prospects for a more integrated theory. Particular inspiration will be drawn from Turing’s work in honor of his 100th birthday, connections between sensorimotor (Wolpert) and risk-sensitive aka robust control (Glover), and the challenge of tradeoffs between efficiency, robustness, speed, and flexibility in organisms and technologies.
Selected recent references:
 Alderson DL, Doyle JC (2010) Contrasting views of complexity and their implications for network-centric infrastructures. IEEE Trans Systems Man Cybernetics—Part A: Syst Humans 40:839-852.
 Sandberg H, Delvenne JC, Doyle JC. On Lossless Approximations, the Fluctuation-Dissipation Theorem, and Limitations of Measurements, IEEE Trans Auto Control, Feb 2011
 Chandra F, Buzi G, Doyle JC (2011) Glycolytic oscillations and limits on robust efficiency. Science, Vol 333, pp 187-192.
 Doyle JC, Csete ME(2011) Architecture, Constraints, and Behavior, P Natl Acad Sci USA, vol. 108, Sup 3 15624-15630
 Gayme DF, McKeon BJ, Bamieh B, Papachristodoulou P, Doyle JC (2011) Amplification and Nonlinear Mechanisms in Plane Couette Flow, Physics of Fluids, V23, Issue 6, 065108
 Page, M. T., D. Alderson, and J. Doyle (2011), The magnitude distribution of earthquakes near Southern California faults, J. Geophys. Res., 116, B12309, doi:10.1029/2010JB007933.
 Namas R, Zamora R, An, G, Doyle, J et al, (2012) Sepsis: Something old, something new, and a systems view, Journal Of Critical Care Volume: 27 Issue: 3
 Chen, L; Ho, T; Chiang, M, Low S; Doyle J,(2012) Congestion Control for Multicast Flows With Network Coding, IEEE Trans On Information Theory Volume: 58 Issue: 9 Pages: 5908-5921