Modélisation et systèmes complexes

(Phénomènes collectifs dans les systèmes sociaux – Humanités digitales – Ethnologie et musique – Cognition – Ecologie)


A complex system is a system composed of a typically large number of (possibly heterogeneous) elements that as a whole exhibit some properties which specifically result from the interactions between the constitutive elements. As such, these global properties or behaviors may not be anticipated from the properties of the individual parts – one talks of « collective phenomena » or of « emerging properties ».

In this domain of complex systems, the goal of modelling, with analytical and numerical means, is precisely to understand the global (‘macroscopic’) level from the characteristics of the constitutive elements (the ‘microscopic’ level).

The multi-disciplinary team Complex Systems at CAMS addresses theoretical issues in the field of complex systems in social and cognitive sciences, making use of tools from applied mathematics, statistical physics and computer science (some relevant keywords: partial differential equations, information theory, dynamical systems, statistical physics of disordered systems, graph theory, game theory, numerical simulations, agent-based systems).
Our modelling activity is mainly developped in collaboration with social and cognitive scientists within specific projects (see the list below).

The current projects concern a large variety of topics, which include the following ones: urban dynamics (modelling crime behavior, urban sprawl); digital humanities (diffusion of knowledge, online communities, social networks); theoretical neuroscience (neural coding and psycholinguistic).

The team has also a long term modelling activity in anthropology and ethnomusicology, based on the analysis of empirical data from field studies, and on a collaboration with IRCAM.


Honorary member:

  • Henri Atlan (Directeur d’études, EHESS & The Human Biology Research Center (HBRC), Hadassah, Jerusalem)

Associate Members:

  • Christian Borghesi (UCP)

  • Mirta B. Gordon (Director of research, CNRS, TIMC-IMAG, Grenoble)

Students and post-docs:

Former members:

  • Giulia Ajmone Marsan (PhD student, EHESS & IMT – Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, Italy – currently with the OECD, Paris)

  • Laurent Bonnasse-Gahot (PhD student EHESS)

  • Michel Morvan (ENS Lyon & Directeur d’études, EHESS – currently with VEOLIA)

  • Leïla Kebir (Post-doc, Ville de Paris & EHESS – then with INRA, AgroParisTech, currently with the Ecole des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris)

  • Ashley Pitcher (Post-doc, project DyXi, Sept 2009-Aug. 2011)

  • Emily Tanimura (PhD student, EHESS – currently Maître de conférences at the University Paris I-Sorbonne)

  • Telmo Menezes, post-doctant sur le programme Qlectives, projet européen, du 01-01-2011 au 13-12-2011
  • Chi-Chun Chen (Post-doc, project Qlectives,  Jan. 2010-Feb. 2013)

Activities and research projects:

  • CAMS seminar « Systèmes complexes en sciences sociales« 

  • HumanICT, multidisciplinary network

  • FuturICT, a flagship proposal (EC, FP7, Future & Emerging Technologies).

  • Qlectives (Quality Collectives, project funded by the EU under the FP7 FET program, March 2009-February 2013)

  • SIMPA (Simulation de la parenté / Kinship simulations, project supported by the programme SYSCOMM of the French National Research Agency, the ANR November. 2009-October. 2012)

  • IMPROTECH (Technologies et musiques improvisées), projet financé par l’ANR, programme Sciences, technologies et savoirs en sociétés, 2009-2012

  • DyXi (Urban Collective Dynamics: Individual and Spatial Heterogeneities, 2009-2012, project supported by the program SYSCOMM of the French National Research Agency, the ANR)

  • ISC-PIF (Institut des Systèmes Complexes / Complex Systems Institute, Paris Île-de-France) The EHESS is one of the official partners of the ISC-PIF. The CAMS Complex systems team is actively involved in the ISC-PIF.

Former projects