November 23, 2023
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems
Europe/Berlin timezone


Inaugural Lecture of the new Max Planck Fellow Group
"Mathematical Optimization and Machine Learning"


We are delighted to invite everybody to the Inaugural Lecture - "Generalized Inverse Optimal Control"- by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Sager


We survey the foundations of generalized inverse optimal control (gIOC), a mathematical approach to infer optimality principles from dynamic data. With this technique it is possible to elucidate and forecast dynamics in mathematical biology, with a particular focus on molecular and cell biology. Our motivation stems from the observation that numerous biological systems seem to be optimized due to evolution. However, the specific objectives, and possibly also constraints and dynamics, are (partially) unknown a priori. gIOC aims to infer them from data and partial prior knowledge, which can then be used to understand the system's behavior and to design optimal intervention strategies. Handling gIOC with nonlinear dynamics is a formidable mathematical challenge: even small-scale instances are currently not solvable, due to a nested bi-level optimization structure on top of noisy data and nonlinear dynamics. Combinatorial structures arise on several layers, e.g., via complementarity constraints of vanishing constraints, which have not yet been investigated in the literature.


Sebastian Sager, professor at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, has been appointed Max Planck Fellow and will head the Mathematical Optimization and Machine Learning (OML) group at our Institute for five years.

Following the lecture, Sebastian Sager will be hosting a small buffet, where you can enjoy refreshments and engage in discussions with your fellow colleagues. It's a perfect occasion to connect and network within the institute.

Your attendance is highly valued, and we anticipate a stimulating afternoon.

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems
Main/groundfloor-V0.05/2+3 - Prigogine