Models of Emergent Behavior in Complex Adaptive Systems

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Models of Emergent Behavior in Complex Adaptive Systems: An ICAM/SFI Workshop

Organizers: David Pines, UC Davis and LANL, Simon Levin, Princeton, Carl Simon, Michigan

Dates: December 6-9, 2007, Santa Fe, NM

Purpose: The proposed workshop, jointly sponsored by the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter and the Santa Fe Institute, will focus on exploring the differences and similarities in the emergent behavior of complex adaptive systems, depending on the relevant levels of selection. A central question for discussion at the workshop is the extent to which the ideas and organizing principles useful in understanding emergent phenomena at one level or in one kind of system might be useful in understanding those at another level or in other systems. For example, could ideas and lessons learned from research on protected emergent behavior in inanimate correlated materials be useful in understanding how living matter, neural tissue, social systems, economies, societies and individuals behave, and vice versa? Closely related to this, the workshop will seek to identify protected or robust behavior (such as the persistence of scaling phenomena) in complex adaptive systems, and models that incorporate an understanding of the organizing principles responsible for such behaviors.

Format: Comparatively short presentations by invited speakers on models that have successfully explained emergent behavior in their fields by incorporating ideas and broad organizing principles that might be relevant in other fields. Each speaker will be charged with speculating as to how these advances might apply outside the original area of application. Each presentation will be followed by extensive spirited discussion, with at least as much time reserved for discussion as for presentations.