Great minds from VSU once again left their mark on the global field of research on complex systems. Carl Michael Dela Cruz and John Niño T. Derecho, students of Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics presented each of their research papers at the Conference on Complex Systems (CCS) held in Salvador, Brazil last October 16-21, 2023. 

Emerging Field of Complex System

Complex systems is a discipline tackling the system of various elements that can express emergent and unpredictable behavior. They are complex as they are difficult to model having factors and elements that were uneasy to configure. This field offers a unique perspective on this changing world and provides a proper assessment of real-world problems, including traffic management, disease prevention, and so forth. Studying complex systems is not limited to solving physical world issues, it also addresses conceptual and theoretical scenarios like in business planning and disaster management.

The conference focusing on this discipline is one of the largest and most prominent annual gatherings among researchers and scientists from various disciplines focusing on its research and development. 

Enhancing the Three-Variable Business Pipeline

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 99.58% of the businesses in our country fall into Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) which gives jobs to 8.75 million Filipinos. However, our country being a hotspot for a business environment with strict competitiveness, most of the businesses lead to failure due to inefficiencies and poor decision-making. 

Carl Michael Dela Cruz’s research on “Identifying Areas for Optimization of the Complex Interactions Between Three-Variable Business Pipeline” focused on optimizing the complex interaction within a three-variable business pipeline encompassing 1) store-business, (2) point of sale (POS) and (3) mobile art platform.  The research offered insights on assisting local businesses in decision-making, boosting profits, and ensuring viability in the Philippines business environment, by focusing on areas that can be improved such as reducing costs, effective resource allocation, and streamlining operations thereby enhancing efficiency and competitiveness.

Evacuation Dynamics Alongside Human Behavior

Alongside is another student researcher, John Niño T. Derecho, who unveiled his own paper on “Evacuation Dynamics with Diffusing Smoke and Fire Based on Extended Floor-Field Model Considering Human Panic Behavior”. With his adviser, they worked on modeling a social complex system using a technique from Statistical Mechanics, specifically the extended floor field model. The aforesaid model simulates scenarios of panic behavior during evacuation, like during a fire. The study revealed that there is a ‘threshold’ of panic that can be helpful during evacuation in such scenarios, although, exceeding this threshold may lead to disaster and increase the risk of injuries and fatalities.

The researcher aims to adopt the data-driven approach from the modeling evacuation scenarios to elaborate and create effective evacuation plans. These findings are not just limited to the simulated modeled system, but can also be applied to universities such as VSU and beyond. 

#ProudViscans: Of Complex Minds on Complex Systems

Exploring the field of applied sciences is not an easy task, especially with the grueling Math and Physics, but it is just a small hindrance to committing to a greater change. As Derecho remarked, “If you're determined to follow a path in Physics or do research in this area, be prepared for the fact that a significant portion of your journey will involve overcoming challenges. However, the rewards and satisfaction you'll gain from this pursuit are well worth the effort”.

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