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Theses

Analyse macroscopique des grands systèmes : émergence épistémique et agrégation spatio-temporelle

Abstract : The analysis of large-scale systems faces syntactic and semantic difficulties: How to observe millions of distributed and asynchronous entities? How to interpret the disorder that results from the microscopic observation of such entities? How to produce and handle relevant abstractions for the systems' macroscopic analysis? Faced with the failure of the analytic approach, the concept of epistemic emergence - related to the nature of knowledge - allows us to define an alternative strategy. This strategy is motivated by the observation that scientific activity relies on abstraction processes that provide macroscopic descriptions to broach the systems' complexity. This thesis is more specifically interested in the production of spatial and temporal abstractions through data aggregation. In order to generate scalable representations, the control of two essential aspects of the aggregation process is necessary. Firstly, the complexity and the information content of macroscopic representations should be jointly optimized in order to preserve the relevant details for the observer, while minimizing the cost of the analysis. We propose several measures of quality (internal criteria) to evaluate, compare and select the representations depending on the context and the objectives of the analysis. Secondly, in order to preserve their explanatory power, the generated abstractions should be consistent with the background knowledge exploited by the observer for the analysis. We propose to exploit the systems' organisational, structural and topological properties (external criteria) to constrain the aggregation process and to generate syntactically and semantically consistent representations. Consequently, the automation of the aggregation process requires solving a constrained optimization problem. We propose a generic algorithm that adapts to the criteria expressed by the observer. Furthermore, we show that the complexity of this optimization problem directly depend on these criteria. The macroscopic approach supported by this thesis is evaluated on two classes of systems. Firstly, the aggregation process is applied to the visualisation of large-scale distributed applications for performance analysis. It allows the detection of anomalies at several scales in the execution traces and the explanation of these anomalies according to the system syntactic properties. Secondly, the process is applied to the aggregation of news for the analysis of international relations. The geographical and temporal aggregation of media attention allows the definition of semantically consistent macroscopic events for the analysis of the international system. Furthermore, we believe that the approach and the tools presented in this thesis can be extended to a wider class of application domains.
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Robin Lamarche-Perrin. Analyse macroscopique des grands systèmes : émergence épistémique et agrégation spatio-temporelle. Autre [cs.OH]. Université de Grenoble, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013GRENM030⟩. ⟨tel-00933186⟩

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