24 April 2020 An “anomalous” competition

AnDi Challenge

Researchers from ICFO, UVic, Gothenburg University, Politecnica de Valencia and Potsdam University organize this physics challenge to address Brownian motion In 1827, Robert Brown observed the erratic movement of particles within pollen grains suspended in water. Almost 80 years after, Albert Einstein was able to provide a theoretical foundation for the Brownian motion. Since then, significant deviations from the laws of Brownian motion have been uncovered in a variety of animate and inanimate systems, from biology to the stock market.

Anomalous diffusion, as it has come to be called, is connected to non-equilibrium phenomena, complex environments, flows of energy and information, and transport in living systems. Identifying the physical origin of this behavior and calculating its properties is a crucial step to understanding the nature of systems from the micro- to the geo-scale. However, a simple data analysis of trajectories often provides limited information, especially for trajectories that are short, noisy, irregularly sampled or featuring mixed behaviors. In the last years, several methods have been proposed to quantify anomalous diffusion, going beyond the calculation of classical estimators.

To evaluate these methods as well as other alternative approaches, a group of scientists has organized “The AnDi challenge”, a competition aiming to bring together the scientific community working around this problem. The use of the same reference datasets will allow an unbiased assessment of the performance of published and unpublished methods for characterizing anomalous diffusion from single trajectories. Participants can submit the results of their analysis on the internet until November 1st, 2020. These results will be then automatically scored and ranked among all competitors.

In addition to the main objective of the AnDi Challenge, which is to find a solution/ an improved approached to this scientific problem, the top-ranked participants will be invited to present their results in a workshop held at ICFO, in Barcelona, on February 17-20, 2021.


  • Gorka Muñoz-Gil & Maciej Lewenstein, Quantum Optics Theory - ICFO
  • Carlo Manzo, the QuBI lab - FCT, UVic-UCC
  • Giovanni Volpe, Soft Matter Lab - University of Gothenburg
  • Miguel A. Garcia-March, UPV
  • Ralf Metzler, Theoretical Physics - UniPotsdam

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