SASO 2012

Sixth IEEE International Conference
on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems

Lyon, France; 10-14 September 2012





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Invited Talks

Social Consensus as a Self-organization Phenomenon

Invited speaker: Maxi San Miguel (Instituto de Fsica Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC (CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Abstract: I will address basic questions in the problem of social consensus from the perspective of collective phenomena in complex systems. This problem is concerned with the determination of when and how the dynamics of a set of interacting units (agents) that can choose among several options (political vote, opinion, cultural features,) leads to a consensus in one of these opinions, or when a state with several coexisting options prevails. Questions addressed include the role of different mechanisms of interaction, complex social networks and human pattern activities. Other questions addressed are the problem of coevolution (network dynamics) and the competition between selforganization and external control or external messages or mass media.

Short bio: Maxi san Miguel is Professor of Physics at the University of the Balearic Islands (since 1986) and Director of IFISC (Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems, CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca. He received the Medal of the Spanish Physical Society-Fundacin BBVA in 2010, and his research activity spans the fields of Collective Dynamics in Social Systems; Complex Networks Statistical Physics; Dynamics of phase transitions; Stochastic processes and fluctuations in nonequilibrium systems; Nonlinear phenomena, pattern formation and spatio-temporal complexity; Laser noise, Nonlinear and quantum optics; Photonics: Semiconductor Lasers. He is the author of over 315 publications in refereed journals and books quoted over 7.200 times. (260 papers in the Web of Science quoted over 5,000 times. Over 50 citations in each of the 19 most quoted papers).

Secrets of swarms architects: understanding construction dynamics in ant colonies

Invited speaker: Guy Theraulaz

Abstract: The amazing ability of social insects to solve everyday-life problems, also known as swarm intelligence has received a considerable attention the past twenty years. One of their feats is their ability to build impressive nest architectures. Not only their characteristic scale is typically much larger than the size of individual insects but some of these architectures can also be highly complex. All along the evolution of these animals, there has been a whole set of innovations in terms of architectural designs and construction techniques that proved to be efficient to solve a large number of problems such as controlling nest temperature, ensuring gas exchanges with the outside environment or adapting nest structure to various colony sizes. One of fundamental questions is: how do the simple actions swarms add up to create such sophisticated architectures? How do insects interact with each other to coordinate their building actions? To investigate these issues, we focused on the early stages of nest construction in the garden ant Lasius niger. This experimental paradigm was used to disentangle the coordinating mechanisms at work and characterize the individual behaviors (transport and assemblage of construction material). We then developed a 3D model implementing the mechanisms detected on the individual level and showed that they correctly explain the construction dynamics and the patterns observed at the collective level for various conditions. The model revealed that complex helicoidal structures connecting nearby chambers emerge from a constant remodeling process of the nest architecture thus.

Short bio: Guy Theraulaz is an internationally-recognised expert in the study of social animals. He is also a leading researcher in the field of swarm intelligence, primarily studying social insects but also distributed algorithms, e.g. for collective robotics, directly inspired by nature. His research focuses on the understanding of a broad spectrum of collective behaviours in animal societies by quantifying and then modelling the individual level behaviours and interactions, thereby elucidating the mechanisms generating the emergent, group-level properties. He was one of the main characters of the development of quantitative social ethology and collective intelligence in France. He made major contributions to the modeling of nest construction in ant and wasp colonies, collective decision in ants and cockroaches, and collective motion in fish schools and pedestrian crowds. He has also coauthored five books, among which Swarm Intelligence: From Natural to Artificial Systems (Oxford University Press, 1999) and Self-organisation in biological systems (Princeton University Press, 2001) which are now considered as reference textbooks.