Network Science

Dan Stefanescu, Dmitry Zinoviev, Director

Network science is a new discipline that combines computer science together with network theory and graph theory. Network Science examines the interconnections among diverse physical or engineered networks, information networks, biological networks, cognitive and semantic networks, and social networks.


A.Bilenberg, L.Helm, D. Stefanescu, H.Zhang : "The Growth of Diaspora -- A Decentralized Online Social Network in the Wild", Proceedings of The 15-th Global Internet Symposium at INFOCOM 2012, Orlando, Fla, 2012

Complexity and Usability for Design Lab

Sean Solley, Director


When Neurologists observe the act of designing, they identify a cyclical, rather than linear process. We imagine possible solutions; model these by creating 2D or 3D representations, then "test" our ideas by presenting them to our clients. The subsequent feedback they provide supports or disproves our initial assumptions and, typically, sends the designer "back to the drawing board" to pursue a more focused level of investigation.

Design is an inherent human capability; we can all do it. Cities, like Boston, are testimony to the human capacity to negotiate ever changing needs. Historically, cities have grown "organically" but today professional designers employ more systematic processes that respond to economic, social, political and cultural factors and impose checks and balances that anticipate the potential implications of their actions.

Increasing complexity requires a hybrid model of practice that enables a variety of stakeholders to participate in the process-based cycle.

At it\'s best design transforms "hard data" into artifacts that we love to use. The Laboratory for Complexity and Usability will examine how "process based" methodologies can enhance our capacity to, collaboratively, solve complicated problems. Designers are unsuspecting experts in complexity. Design can be characterized as a responsive act, which negotiates pre-existing (contextual) and self-imposed (ethical) constraints.

In recent years "Green" or Sustainable design has highlighted the importance of systems thinking at the environmental level. Universal design has revealed significant shortcomings in the usability of many products in the marketplace. This has resulted in a failure to reach a significant number of potential consumers. The Complexity and Usability Lab establishes a platform where business, academic, government and voluntary sector partners can, collectively, develop information, goods and services.

Lab Structure

The lab will initially focus on the built environment and, in particular, the role of designers developing an interface between human beings and "man-made" landscape. Three areas of current investigation are:

Design for Aging
The Learning Environment
The Changing Workplace

The Complexity and Usability Lab is working to develop innovative and empathic research methods and devise strategies to exchange knowledge via education, events, publications and industrial collaboration.

Structured Data

Ariel Markelevich, Director

The Structured Data lab explores the development of structured data in general and XBRL as a specific form of structured data. The lab seeks to support the development of structured data to understand to micro, meso , and macro level phenomena of complex systems for better decision making. While exploring the benefits of the use of structured data and the inherent problems of big data collection, storage, manipulation, access, and use the lab is particularly interested in examining how structured data can and should play a role in addressing complex systems and potentially reducing negative complexities.

Gomaa Mohamed I., Ariel Markelevich and Lewis Shaw "Understanding and Applying Financial Interactive Data: A Financial Statement Analysis Project Featuring XBRL" forthcoming in Journal of Accounting Education
Markelevich Ariel and Malcolm Bliss "RFID and EPC Technologies Enable a New Era of Inventory Management" Strategic Finance November 2011
Markelevich, Ariel, Lewis Shaw and Hagit Weihs "Conversion from National Accounting Standards to International Financial Reporting Standards: The Case of Israel" The CPA Journal March 2011
Markelevich, Ariel and Ronald Bell "RFID - The Changes It Will Bring" Strategic Finance August 2006

Customer Engagement Lab

Zhen (Jane) Zhu, Director

The Customer Engagement Lab focuses on the customer or client perspective of the business complexity issues. Our research scope includes customer WOM networks, customer value co-creation, and adaptive capability building and cross-functional integration under the customer-centric view. We care the most about developing and levaraging customer insights and engagement to deliver superior customer experience and business performances. We strive to conduct studies meaningful and impactful to both academic explorations and business practices. We welcome both academic and industrial collaborators to advance our knowledge on this subject.



Zhu, Z., Nakata, C., Sivakumar, K., Grewal, D. (forthcoming).Fix It or Leave It: Customer Recovery from Self-Service Technology Failures. Journal of Retailing.

Nakata, C., Zhu, Z., Izberk-Bilgin, E. (2011). Integrating Marketing and Information Services Function: A Complementarity and Competence Perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(5).

Nakata, C., Zhu, Z., Kraimer, M. (2008). The Complex Contribution of Information Technology Capability to Business Performance. Journal of Managerial Issues, 20(4).

Zhu, Z., Nakata, C., Sivakumar, K., Grewal, D. (2007). Self-Service Technology Effectiveness: The Roles of Comparative Information, Interactivity, and Individual Differences. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35(4), 492-506.

Zhu, Z. J., Nakata, C. (2007). Reexamining the Link between Customer Orientation and Business Performance: The Role of Information Systems. Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 15(3), 187-203.

Nakata, C., Zhu, Z. (2006). Information Technology and Customer Orientation: A Study of Direct, Mediated, and Interactive Linkages. Journal of Marketing Management, 22, 319-354.

Matsumo, K. (Presenter & Author), Zhu, Z. J. (Author), Rice, M. (Author), AMS World Marketing Conference, "Business Growth and Customer Equity for Entrepreneurial Firms: Impact of Marketing-R&D Intergration and R&D Strength in Corporate Setting," AMS, France. (July 2011).











"A vast majority of chief executives said the rapid escalation of 'complexity' is the biggest challenge confronting them ..." it's no longer about the change gap; it's now about the complexity gap", Saul Berman, an executive for IBM Global Business Services. (Wall Street Journal, 5/18/10)

Complexity Resources

1st Collaborative Data Science Conference, Jersey City, NJ, June 10-11, 2015

Complexity Series Paintings

Video: eWeek Interview with Dr. Greta Meszoely

Suffolk University Center for Business Complexity & Global Leadership

The Economic Complexity Observatory

Santa Fe Institute

Northeastern University Center for Complex Network Research

Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan

Complexity Digest


Plexus Institute

Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights from the 2010 IBM Global CEO Study

Embracing Complexity: An Interview with Michael J. Mauboussin by Tim Sullivan

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