Assistant Professor Justin Ruths
Singapore University of Technology & Design


Studying the control properties of complex networks provides insight into how designers and engineers can influence these systems to achieve a desired behavior. Topology of a network has been shown to strongly influence its control properties; in this talk I refine these concepts to determine the fundamental structures that originate the need for inputs to guarantee complete controllability. I will discuss the “control profile”, a novel statistic that quantifies the different proportions of control-inducing structures present in a network. The talk will highlight how the control profiles from real networks form three well-defined clusters that can be explained in terms of high-level organization and function. The profiles of synthetic networks evidence systemically different properties.

Speaker Bio

We continually make choices – choices that guide and shape how we change the world around us. If we break the world down into manageable, meaningful partitions, we identify systems; and if we think carefully about our choices, we design these systems. Science (natural) and engineering (created) systems offer great challenges to designing choices due to their inherent complexity – the options are many, and those that improve the systems are often hard to find. Justin Ruths researches mathematical and computational methods to select optimal choices for such complex and often large-scale systems.

Dr Ruths develops theoretical tools that determine the fundamental properties of complex control systems and also computational methods to solve the optimal control problems corresponding to these dynamical systems, which are usually analytically intractable. In particular, his work has studied the optimal control of parameterized, “ensemble” systems, which are motivated by applications in the control of quantum systems, neuroscience, and systems biology. His highly multidisciplinary research has been published in top-tier international journals.

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