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AISB event Bulletin Item

2nd CALL FOR PAPERS: Symposium on Understanding & Modelling Collective Phenomena, 2-6 July 2012,Birmingham, UK

part of the AISB/IACAP World Congress

This symposium forms part of the AISB/IACAP World Congress to be held
at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK, on 2-6 July 2012, in
honour of Alan Turing, to mark the centenary of his birth. The Congress
is jointly organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial
Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) and the International
Association of Computing and Philosophy (IACAP) 
                             *  *  *

By collective phenomena we understand phenomena which arise as a
result of the combined actions of many individual entities and which
exhibit some form of unity or coherence that goes beyond the sum of
the individual actions, e.g., the behaviour of flocks, crowds, etc,
traffic phenomena, and many social activities. An important subclass
of collective phenomena are spatial collectives, in which the
collective behaviour takes the form of some form of spatial

This symposium will explore a range of issues arising from the effort
to understand and model collective phenomena. Many of the issues can
be approached either from a philosophical standpoint or from a
computational one; we shall be particularly interested in the
application of AI techniques (e.g., knowlege representation
formalisms, algorithms for pattern recognition, machine learning
methods) to the problems that they raise.

Topics to be covered in the symposium include

 - Representation: how should collective phenomena be represented
within some standard (or non-standard) knowledge representation
formalism? What account should be given of the ontology of

 - Analysis: By analysing real-world collective phenomena can we
 formulate a plausible set of principles for collective dynamics?

 - Simulation: Can we use these principles to simulate collective
 phenomena in order to gain a controlled understanding of their

 - Recognition/Detection: Given data representing the
 movement patterns of many individuals, can we detect instances of
 collectivity through recognising various forms of spatial coherence
 within the data? Can we distinguish between different kinds of
 collective which owe their spatial coherence to different sources
 (e.g., internal causation, external causation, purpose, combinations
 of these)?

Papers are solicited on any of these or related topics.

In addition to standard paper presentations, it is proposed to hold a
break-out session in which attendees at the Symposium will divide into
groups to work on particular topics related to the Symposium theme;
for this we would encourage both theoretical discussions and practical
work using real data. Any offers of suitable data - typically
spatio-temporal data recording the movements of groups of individuals
- will be welcomed.

The symposium will also include a joint panel discussion with the
symposium on Social Computing - Social Cognition - Social Networks and
Multiagent Systems (

The proceedings will be produced before the Congress, and each
delegate at the Congress will receive, on arrival, a memory stick
containing the proceedings of all the symposia. Inclusion in the
proceedings will not create a copyright obstacle to later use by the

Submission requirements 
Papers should be submitted in PDF format via EasyChair at, and should be
not more than 8 pages long. Please use the style files provided for
the AISB'11 convention, which are obtainable from  
Both LaTeX and OpenOffice/MSWord templates are available. 

Important dates
Deadline for paper submission: 		2nd March 2012
Acceptance/rejection decision:		2nd April 2012
Final version for proceedings:		4th May 2012
Dates of symposium			3rd-5th July 2012


General Chairs: Antony Galton and Zena Wood (University of Exeter, UK)

Programme Committee:

Natalia Andrienko (Fraunhofer Institute IAIS, Sankt-Augustin, Germany)
Thomas Bittner (Buffalo NY, USA)
Christophe Claramunt (Naval Academy Research Institute, Brest, France)
Matt Duckham (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Heinrich Herre (University of Leipzig, Germany)
Patrick Laube (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Ludger Jansen (University of Rostock, Germany)
Stefan Schulz (Medical University Graz, Austria)
Johanna Seibt (University of Aarhus, Denmark)
John Stell (University of Leeds, UK)
Monica Wachowicz (University of New Brunswick, Canada)

Web links
AISB/IACAP Word Congress 2012:
(or via



This symposium: