Why Use Boolean Network for Control?

Boolean network method is a dynamical system method - like vector-autoregression (VAR) model - but use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to describe the temporal relations. It has been widely used in system biology to study gene regulatory networks and control design. I chose the Boolean network method as it can model and control complex nonlinear dynamics in psychological systems, and this method can also reduce stakeholders' burden to implement the control strategy.  


I am applying this method in psychology to design control so we can direct the system/person out of the undesirable attractors, such as when they are stuck in a negative mood. For example, we can provide person-specific advice to parents on how to help toddlers regulate their anger when their desired object or activity is blocked, such as encouraging the child to use distraction when they are angry.  

I look forward to applying this control method on personalized interventions to facilitate healthy development across the lifespan, such as prevention of depression and anxiety among adolescents and young adults, prevention of cognitive decline among older adults. 

Here is a brief video introducing this method

Related Work:

Yang, X., Ram, N., Molenaar, P.C.M., Cole, P.M. (2021) Describing and controlling multivariate nonlinear dynamics: A Boolean network method. Multivariate Behavioral Research.DOI: 10.1080/00273171.2021.1911772 (pdf)

Yang, X., Ram, N., Albert, R., & Elreda, L. M. (under review). Modeling and managing behavior change in groups: A Boolean network method.