Universal laws and architectures in complex networked systems
Effective layered architectures such as in brains and organisms seamlessly integrate high level goal and decision making and planning with fast lower level sensing, reflex, and action and facilitate learning, adaptation, augmentation (tools), and teamwork, while maintaining internal homeostasis. This is all despite the severe demands such actions can put on the whole body's physiology, and despite being implemented in highly energy efficient hardware that has distributed, sparse, quantized, noisy, delayed, and saturating sensing, communications, computing, and actuation. Similar layering extends downward into the cellular level, out into ecological and social systems, and many aspects of this convergent evolution will increasingly dominate our most advanced technologies. Simple demos using audience's brains can highlight universal laws and architectures and their relevance to tech, bio, neuro, med, and social networks. This suggests conjectures about senescence, and tradeoffs in the evolution of cancer, wound healing, degenerative diseases, auto-immunity, parasitism, and social organization, and potential animal models to explore these tradeoffs.
With this motivation, we'll sketch progress on a new unified theory of complex networks that integrates communications, control, and computation with applications to cyberphysical systems as well as neuroscience and biology.