LISC - Complex Systems Engineering Laboratory

Département :
Centre :

In order to understand changes in forests, the behaviour of animal populations in their natural setting, and even social changes in rural areas, LISC researchers are resorting to increasingly detailed computer models.

The LISC research unit

Researchers are creating a model for each individual in a given plant, animal or human population, which is integrated into a computer programme simulating the interaction of each individual with its peers or setting. The simulations reveal unexpected group effects, the mathematical theory of which is sometimes very difficult to establish. This movement from the individual to the group, which is at the centre of recent complexity theories, is seen in most environmental or social dynamics.

We are studying and modelling these overall behaviour patterns from individual interactions.  We are developing a software tool to carry out digital experiments better, so that we can observe overall behaviour when the parameters vary. We are also building simpler models that can be used more easily in practice.

In this way, we can use these robust models to plan action policies for maintaining the viability or resilience of the system.

The research unit plays a part in multidisciplinary projects, often European, involving the collaboration of computer scientists, mathematicians and ecosystem or social science specialists.  The unit is a member of the CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre) TIMS (Information Technology, Mobility and Safety) Research Federation.

Research topics

To understand and anticipate environmental dynamics: using individual-centred models in ecological and social science experiments.


Head of Research Unit : Guillaume Deffuant


Software list
Computer cluster


  • Computers
  • Applied mathematics
  • Statistics

Research areas

  • Individual-centred models
  • Numerical experiments
  • Viable control

Areas of application

  • Ecology
  • Social dynamics
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