Order parameter dynamics in complex systems: From models to data

Zhigang Zheng, Can Xu, Jingfang Fan, Maoxin Liu, Xiaosong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Collective ordering behaviors are typical macroscopic manifestations embedded in complex systems and can be ubiquitously observed across various physical backgrounds. Elements in complex systems may self-organize via mutual or external couplings to achieve diverse spatiotemporal coordinations. The order parameter, as a powerful quantity in describing the transition to collective states, may emerge spontaneously from large numbers of degrees of freedom through competitions. In this minireview, we extensively discussed the collective dynamics of complex systems from the viewpoint of order-parameter dynamics. A synergetic theory is adopted as the foundation of order-parameter dynamics, and it focuses on the self-organization and collective behaviors of complex systems. At the onset of macroscopic transitions, slow modes are distinguished from fast modes and act as order parameters, whose evolution can be established in terms of the slaving principle. We explore order-parameter dynamics in both model-based and data-based scenarios. For situations where microscopic dynamics modeling is available, as prototype examples, synchronization of coupled phase oscillators, chimera states, and neuron network dynamics are analytically studied, and the order-parameter dynamics is constructed in terms of reduction procedures such as the Ott-Antonsen ansatz, the Lorentz ansatz, and so on. For complicated systems highly challenging to be well modeled, we proposed the eigen-microstate approach (EMP) to reconstruct the macroscopic order-parameter dynamics, where the spatiotemporal evolution brought by big data can be well decomposed into eigenmodes, and the macroscopic collective behavior can be traced by Bose-Einstein condensation-like transitions and the emergence of dominant eigenmodes. The EMP is successfully applied to some typical examples, such as phase transitions in the Ising model, climate dynamics in earth systems, fluctuation patterns in stock markets, and collective motion in living systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022101
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

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