Section: Research Program

Dynamical Systems

The most natural example of a computation with infinite precision is the simulation of a dynamical system. The underlying space might be n in the case of the simulation of physical systems, or the Cantor space {0,1} in the case of discrete dynamical systems.

From the point of view of computation, the main point of interest is the link between the long-term behavior of a system and its initial configuration. There are two questions here: (a) predict the behavior, (b) design dynamical systems with some prescribed behavior. The first will be mainly examined through the angle of reachability and more generally control theory for hybrid systems.

The model of cellular automata will be of particular interest. This computational model is relevant for simulating complex global phenomena which emerge from simple interactions between simple components. It is widely used in various natural sciences (physics, biology, etc.) and in computer science, as it is an appropriate model to reason about errors that occur in systems with a great number of components.

The simulation of a physical dynamical system on a computer is made difficult by various aspects. First, the parameters of the dynamical systems are seldom exactly known. Secondly, the simulation is usually non exact: real numbers are usually represented by floating-point numbers, and simulations of cellular automata only simulate the behavior of finite or periodic configurations. For some chaotic systems, this means that the simulation can be completely irrelevant.