Complex additive systems are distinguished by the complexity and specialization
of their individual components. As opposed to complex adaptive systems, complex
additive systems are typically formed by linking several systems together and
are often systems of systems engineered to work very efficiently. This high
degree of tuning can result in increased vulnerability, both to accidents and
to malicious manipulation.
Dedicated to the study of complex additive systems, ICASA explores these systems
through three approaches – basic research, applied research, and enabling
ICASA’s basic research focuses on understanding the additive effects,
or unintended consequences, of efficient design in complex additive systems.
The research is interdisciplinary, involving dynamical systems, control theory,
mathematical physics, and economics.
ICASA’s applied research validates the results of the theoretical analysis
and modeling and simulation against actual data from real systems. Applied research
also focuses on the question of observability, which determines what can be
deduced about a real-world system based on publicly available information and
whether that information can be used to identify and exploit vulnerabilities.
ICASA researches and developments Enabling Technologies so that the results
of the Institute’s research can be applied to real-world problems. Finely
tuned applications enable non-experts to interact with models and simulations
for their specific analytic goals. Applications for scientific data management,
visualization, and analysis provide methods of storing, representing, searching,
and expressing knowledge about systems and the relevant applied research.