The defence occured on June 22, 2007 (slides available), with the result of the thesis being accepted as submitted. Of course a PhD thesis is only a research report, that it can be improved and extended in several ways, but I am still happy with the appreciation. I thus invite you to read my dissertation and give me any feedback you like, whether positive or negative, if possible constructive :)
My supervisor was Peter Grogono, a distinguished professor who is interested in particular in artificial life. I have thus joined him in september 2004 with the goal of defining my own subject in a related research domain. The external examiner was Wolfgang Fink, from the Visual and Autonomous Exploration Systems Research Laboratory at Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The other members of the committee were Gregory Butler and Joey Paquet from the Computer Science department, and Nawwaf Kharma from the Electrical and Computer Engineering department.
I worked on various aspects of emergent phenomena and complex systems. My approach on these controversial issues is a practical one (see the abstract below). I used Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence as application domains for testing complex systems ideas predictively rather than descriptively. Some results can be found as separate projects or documents on this site, including:
- A method for directing a population of evolving agent without fitness function, using top-down control.
- A proposal for creating new learning rules in recurrent Spiking Neural Networks.
- How to quantify the effects of applying the learning rules in these networks.
- An algorithm for computing incrementally the statistical complexity of a system (with live data that can be added or removed).
- An algorithm for computing on-line the multifractal spectrum of a dynamic time series.
- An algorithm for finding the nearest neighbors of mobile objects in multiple dimensions (with application to cyclic and non-cyclic 3D worlds).
Practical Investigations of Complex Systems is the title of my dissertation. Abstract: