The University of Southampton

Agents, Interaction and Complexity (AIC)

AIC is engaged in world‐leading research into the science and engineering of complex socio‐technical, socio‐economic and socio‐ecological systems that underpin the greatest challenges facing society.

Challenges as diverse as engineering resilient and sustainable smart infrastructure, refactoring healthcare systems to cope with demographic change, and anticipating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, all involve building and analysing complex systems. The AIC research group is at the heart of developing real-world applications through theoretical modelling of the fundamental nature of such systems, their constituent actors and their dynamics.

The group strives to understand and build systems in which autonomous entities (be they biological organisms, humans, software agents or robots) interact with one another.

They are exploring the mechanisms by which cooperation, coordination and negotiation arise within these systems to enable them to predict the aggregate behaviour of these systems when interaction occurs on a large scale.

The AIC research group uses the insights it gains through its innovative research to engineer better systems in which human‐human, human‐agent and agent‐agent interaction occurs and to understand how to design mechanisms of interaction to give the best outcomes, while ensuring robustness and resilience in the face of uncertainty, dynamism and interdependence.

The group’s work draws inspiration and insight from a broad range of related disciplines including biology, economics, psychology, physics, neuroscience and mathematics whose fusion with computer science and electronic engineering provides a vibrant and fundamentally interdisciplinary research culture.

Key research in AIC includes the following.

ORCHID is investigating systems based on human-agent collectives (HACs) to ensure safety, reliability and appropriate safeguards are in place. The  researchers aim to establish the new science that is needed to understand, build and apply HACs that symbiotically interleave human and computer systems to an unprecedented degree.

Intelligent Decentralised Energy-Aware Systems (iDEaS) is exploring the issues that are associated with the decentralised control, operation and management of future generation electricity networks.

The Care Life Cycle brings together teams of researchers from social sciences, management science and complexity science to develop a suite of models that represent the socio-economic and demographic processes and providers in UK health and social care.

Artificial Wet Neuronal Networks draws upon the expertise of computer scientists, biophysicists, chemical physicists, biochemists, chemical biologists and electrical engineers to develop the core science needed to build a future massively parallel computing infrastructure and pave the ground to harnessing bio- and nano-materials for a novel approach to cognitive computing.

Professor mc schraefel, Head of Group
Professor mc schraefel, Head of Group

Contact us

Agents, Interaction and Complexity Research Group
Electronics and Computer Science
Building 32, Room 4001 
University of Southampton 
SO17 1BJ
AIC Group secretary:
Kirsten Wakefield
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 6678

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