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1st of May

assyst css newsletterIn this 1st of May 2011, the ASSYST/CSS Newsletter presents three distinct initiatives, all concerned, each one in its own way, by the role of Science in building a better society for the future.

The first is the Assyst Meeting "ICT Based Policies for a Green Knowledge Society", that will be held in Florence on the 27th May. The meeting will address processes of creating, sharing, and using knowledge for socio-economic development. In this context, “green” means an interest for the involvement of environmental concern. The key issue of the meeting will be the exploration of the possibility of achieving a green knowledge society with the utilization of the ICT, as a means of enhancing interaction and a distributed intelligence on the overall society.

Another important event is "fet'11 - The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition", to be held in Budapest already on the 4-6 May. fet'11 is a forum dedicated to frontier research in information and communication technologies, a unique conference on visionary, high-risk and long-term research in information science and technology. Featuring an exceptionally broad range of scientific fields, the event will seed new ideas across disciplines that will reshape the future.

Finally, the EPSRC and ASSYST workshop "Mathematics in the Science of Complex Systems", to be held at the University of Warwick on the 9th and 10th June, will challenge the status quo and suggest that there is an exciting universe of new mathematical structures waiting to be constructed - new kinds of spaces with new kinds of algebraic, topological, analytic and logical properties requiring new methods of investigation to make them tractable and comprehensible.

You will find all this, and much more, in this issue of your ASSYST/CSS newsletter.


ASSYST ECCS’11 Bursaries

Information for ASSYST ECCS’11 Bursary holders

  1. If you have not done so already, please email Jane Bromley ([email protected]) by 1st May, if you accept the bursary conditions and saying if you require a letter for Visa purposes.
  2. You need to pay for registration, travel and accommodation and will be reimbursed once the conference is over and you have written a paragraph for the ASSYST newsletter saying how you have benefitted from attending.
  3. A form to use to obtain reimbursement will be available from this website.
  4. If you are a student please go ahead and register. We are checking whether non-students can receive the same reduced rate (please check here for updated information). The early registration price will stay open for a little while longer.
  5. We are checking how you will receive the free membership to the Complex Systems Society (please check here for updated information).
  6. Please send your biography (200 word max, preferably in word) and photo (jpg) as soon as you can. In this please say why you want to attend the conference and what you hope to gain from it.
  7. Engaging with the étoile team at the Open University – keep checking this website for updates on how to do this.
  8. Please send your recommendations for the change that would most improve CSS and ASSYST websites to the e-mails [email protected] , [email protected] and [email protected] by 30 th June.

Please look at this webpage for regularly updated information.

Mathematics in the Science of Complex Systems

Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick Thursday 9th – Friday 10th June 2011

This EPSRC & ASSYST meeting follows a workshop held in February 2011 at the European Centre for Living Technology in Venice as part of the European ASSYST project. Like the Venice meeting, this workshop is organised around the questions:

  • which areas of mathematics are used in complex systems science?

  • what is the historical context? Have any outstanding problems been solved?

  • have any new fields of mathematics or problems been generated ?

  • how can statistical research contribute to complex systems science?

  • how does mathematics interface to computation in CS science?

  • what are the implications for applications in industry and for policy makers?

  • are new logical frameworks necessary for the science of complex systems?

  • what are the implications for education and training in CS science?

  • are there completely new areas of mathematics waiting to be discovered?

  • what are the ‘grand challenges’ for mathematics and mathematicians?

The meeting in Warwick is intended to widen the network of mathematicians participating in this initiative. Everyone will be given the opportunity to present their views. Attendance is free. We will provide overnight accommodation on Thursday 9th June (and Wednesday 8th June as needed) and refund travel expenses. If you would like to attend please contact us to book your place as soon as possible.

Please email [email protected] or call 01908-652627 or 077 966 966 21 to book your place.

Registration: see the source webpage.
The meeting is organised by Robert MacKay ([email protected]) on behalf of the Warwick Mathematics Institute and Jeff Johnson ([email protected]) on behalf on ASSYST.


ICT Based Policies For a Green Knowledge Society

assyst ICT Green Conference FlorenceHow can ICT help achieve a green knowledge society? How are different regional policies in Europe affecting this goal?

ASSYST and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the University of Florence are organizing a conference on the “possibility to achieve a green knowledge society with the utilisation of the ICT as a mean of enhancing interaction and a distributed intelligence on the overall society”. The conference will take place May 27th, 2011 in Florence at the University of Florence.

Representatives of four European regions: Greater London Authority, Region de l'Ile de France, Piedmont Region, and Tuscany Region, will present their experience. Experts in decision making and in the utilization of ICT will comment these experiences. A general final discussion will investigate how ICT could help strengthening regional policies to pursue the goal of a greener knowledge society.


Facing the Future

assyst css newsletterIn the April 2011 issue of your ASSYST/CSS Newsletter, where you will be able to find some interesting pointers to future science in Europe.

The Étoile project - "Enhanced Technology for Open Intelligent Learning Environments" started with an exciting debate about how to develop and deploy an open source, scalable and adaptive online system that will deliver learning resources for complex systems studies. A report of this discussion is available inside. Also, one of the most important annual conferences, fet'11 - "The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition", is about to start and will include some remarkable talks, from robotics to market dynamics, from language modelling to new computational and mathematical models - please take a look to the abstracts. Finally, the reading snippets, conference calls and announcements will surely catch your attention.


March Newsletter - It's Time For Mathematics

assyst css newsletterDuring February, some interesting events took place, namely concerning Mathematics and Complex Systems Science. This issue of the ASSYST/CSS newsletter reports on the “International workshop on Mathematics in the Science of Complex Systems”, recently held at the European Centre for Living Technology in Venice.

The workshop challenged the status quo and suggested that there is an exciting universe of new mathematical structures waiting to be constructed - new kinds of spaces with new kinds of algebraic, topological, analytic and logical properties requiring new methods of investigation to make them tractable and comprehensible.

In a sequence, the First European Ph.D. School on “Mathematical Modeling of Complex Systems” is being prepared and will take place in Patras, Greece, during next summer. You will be able to find here the details of this summer school, including courses.

Still on the education side, the good news is that the new étoile - “Enhanced Technology for Open Intelligent Learning Environments” project is about to start. The étoile project will test a remarkable information architecture using social intelligence to provide ultra-low-cost education and support the rapid dissemination of scientific ideas in domains related to complex systems science.

Finally, you will be able to find in these pages the announcement of the workshop “Mining the Digital Traces of Science Toward interactive visualization of science dynamics”, that will take place in Paris on the 23rd and 24th of March.

Enjoy your newsletter!


étoile is about to start !

The étoile project will test a remarkable information architecture using social intelligence to provide ultra-low-cost education and support the rapid dissemination of scientific ideas.

It will be tested in with postgraduate students in Europe and around the world. It is intended to support programmes of education in domains related to complex systems science to large numbers of students around the world at almost no cost per student.

The étoile kickoff meeting will take place at the Hub Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK, between the 9th and the 12nd March 2011.

More informations at the étoile website.


Roadmap Brainstorming Meeting

roadmap Institut des Systèmes Complexes de Paris IdF, January 28 2011.

This meeting aims at forstering synergies between the CSS/ASSYST Roadmap and the ISC-PIF Roadmap. The day will be dedicated to small group working sessions with the aim to update the CSS and ISC-PIF roadmaps.

The CSS/ASSYST Roadmap has been instrumental in the definition of several EU FP calls and is a major tool of the complex systems community.

As for the ISC-PIF Roadmap, it is a reference for all the calls of the DIM "Crosscutting issues of Complex Systemss", with a current call 2011 running until march 2011.

All the produced documents will be available on the Roadmaps wiki, so that they could be further improved online.

Thanks to register below.

9h30-12h30 : working session
12h30-14h : lunch (on the spot)
14h00-17h00 : working session

Directions to come to the ISC-PIF can be found in here.

Financial support
People needing support to attend the brainstorming session can apply for an ASSYST bursary e-mailing to david dot chavalarias (a)

Documents: The different roadmaps can be found on the Roadmaps website.


ECCS'11 Keynote Speakers Announced

As one of the most important annual events in Complex Systems Science, the conference aims to provide a broad forum for the diverse communities engaged in Complex Systems research, ranging from the Life Sciences to Physics, from Computer Science to Social Science, from Mathematics to Origin of Life, and from Networks to Policy Implications.

The list of Keynotes speakers include:

- Madan Babu
- Robert Devaney
- Murray Gell-Mann
- Ricardo Hausmann
- Yoh Iwasa
- Peter Schuster
- Giulio Superti-Furga
- Eörs Szathmáry
- Corina Tarnita
- Constantino Tsallis
- Geoffrey West

Also, the submission phase for abstracts for talks and posters for the ECCS'11 is now open.

Moreover, early registration is now open. Early registration with its reduced fees will end April 30th 2011.


Opening the Cloud - 2011 ASSYST Meeting on Cloud Computing

Opening the Cloud will present the state-of-the-art in Cloud Computing and will debate the technical and social challenges that Cloud Computing is facing. The directions of research in a near future and possible contributions from the Complex Systems community will be discussed.

Institut des Systèmes Complexes, Paris - 31 January, 2011


08:30 – 9:00 Coffee and Registration

9:00 – 9:05 Welcome

9:05 – 9:30 “ASSYST, Complexity, Socially Intelligent ICT and the Cloud: Questions for the Day" - Jeff Johnson, Rui Esteves, Jorge Louçã, Paul Bourgine and David Hales

9:30 – 10:10 “e-ScienceTalk: Communicating Clouds and e-Science” – Catherine Gater (e-ScienceTalk)

10:10 – 10:50 “Interoperability and neutrality: the idea of an Inter-Cloud eXchange” – Andrea Rivetti (TOP-IX)

10:50 – 11:05 Coffee

11:05 – 11:45 “Academic Computing Clouds” – Kemal Delic (Hewlett-Packard)

11:45 – 12:25 “Cloud computing and its scientific challenge” – Cécile Germain (Université Paris-Sud)

12:25 – 13:00 Sandwich Lunch at ISC-PIF

13:00 – 13:40 “A Case Study on Using a Desktop Grid for Evolutionary Robotics” – Sancho Oliveira (ISCTE-IUL)

13:40 – 14:20 “TBA” – Gaétan Hains – (Université Paris-Est Créteil)

14:20 – 15:00 “A generic platform for the distributed study of complex systems models”– Romain Reuillon (ISC-Paris)

15:00 – 15:15 Coffee

15:15 – 16:30 Panel Discussion and Conclusions of the Meeting – moderators Yasmin Merali and Jorge Louçã

16:30 Close of the meeting

Organization: Rui Esteves and Jorge Louçã of ASSYST.

Programme Committee: Rui Esteves, Jorge Louçã, Yasmin Merali, Kemal Delik, Jeff Johnson, David Chavalarias, David Hales and Paul Bourgine.

Contact: [email protected]


Confirmed presences:

* Andrea Rivetti (TOP-IX)

* Cécile Germain (Université Paris-Sud)

* Catherine Gater (e-ScienceTalk)

* David Chavalarias (ISC-Paris, CSS and ASSYST)

* David Hales (ASSYST)

* Gaétan Hains – (Université Paris-Est Créteil)

* Jeff Johnson (Open University, CSS and ASSYST)

* Jorge Louçã (Lisbon University Institute, and ASSYST

* Kemal Delic (Hewlett-Packard)

* Manuel Tânger (Doctoral Programme in Complexity Sciences and CSS)

* Paul Bourgine (ISC-Paris)

* Romain Reuillon (ISC-Paris)

* Rui Esteves (Doctoral Programme in Complexity Sciences)

* Sancho Oliveira (Lisbon University Institute)

* Yasmin Merali (University of Warwick and ASSYST)

Happy New Year - January Newsletter

assyst css newsletterHappy New Year! A new year is starting. This is the time to review past activities, make conclusions, think carefully about it, and get inspiration to face the new challenges appearing in the horizon. This and much more in this month ASSYST Newsletter.

The most representative event for the Complex Systems research community during last year was the ECCS conference. This number reviews our conference through statistics, and lists the relevant features of it. Some of its most interesting satellite meetings are reported, such as "Policy making in complex adaptive systems", "Young Researchers Session at ECCS'10", "International Latino America Committee of the Complex Systems Society", and "Modelling the non-separability of a very complex world". Finally, after reviewing the past we take a look to the very promising future in Vienna, which will receive the 2011 edition of the European Conference on Complex Systems.
Welcome to the January issue of the ASSYST/CSS Newsletter. As you will notice in the on-line version ( /index.html ), the Newsletter is using an innovative way of being presented in your computer. A new age for the on-line edition is just starting, and we are all in the front-line.
More exciting new ideas are being prepared to appear in the Newsletter pages during this New Year. Stay attentive!
-- The ASSYST Team


An Inspiring Gift - December Newsletter

assyst css newsletterBenoît Mandelbrot left us one of the most inspiring gifts one can ever imagine: "Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line." This and much more in this month ASSYST Newsletter.


European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition

The European Commission has to announced that the next FET11 Conference will take place in Budapest on 4-6 May 2011, under the auspices of the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union.

FET11 will display "Science beyond fiction" with an impressive list of keynote speakers, scientific sessions and futuristic exhibition booths, covering a broad range of scientific fields and future information and communication technologies. This conference dedicated to the frontier research in future and emerging information technologies follows on the previous one, FET09, held in Prague.

Call for sessions, exhibition and posters will soon be released on the conference web site


FET Young Explorers Scheme

Young scientists in Europe can now apply to funding under the FET Young Explorers initiative, specially target to those who obtained their PhD less than six years ago.

This FET objective gives young researchers and scientists the opportunity to take their ideas forward in the form of small STREP proposals, with possibility of funding in the order of EUR 1 million. This objective is truly designed with the needs of young scientists in mind. Successful projects must be led by a young researcher, and the leadership by young researchers of all work packages is also required. No more than six years should have elapsed between the award of a Ph.D. (or equivalent) for each such young researcher and the date of submission of the short proposal.

The FET Young Explorer Objective aims at capturing the creative potential of young researchers by fostering their leadership and participation in collaborative research projects targeting first-ever and exploratory, multi-disciplinary research. This exploration should be grounded in scientifically plausible ideas that can provide a novel basis for the development of radically new concepts and visions that extend the conventional boundaries of ICT. New multi-disciplinary approaches and unconventional methodologies are encouraged.

The FET Young Researchers objective is the place to submit first ever ideas which can change the fact of ICT and computing forever. In particular, successful projects are expected to open new avenues of research towards future ICT that may be radically different from present day ICT, empower the next generation of European science and technology leaders through their increased leadership of collaborative ICT research, and promote early independence of young high potential researchers.


The Future of CS research is starting now

assyst css newsletterThe European research in complex systems is more dynamic than ever, as it is shown by the new nine Complexity-NET Interdisciplinary Challenges for Complexity Science projects. This November Newsletter starts presenting the Complexity-NET projects that are about to start. Others will be mentioned in the following issues.

RESINEE - RESilience and Interaction of Networks in Ecology and Economics will be developed by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Universidad de Alcalá in Spain, University of Cambridge and University of Manchester in UK, and Universiteit Utrecht in The Netherlands. The main goal is to explore the structure and robustness of networks under different types of threat and degrees of decision-making power for nodes in the network. The study of specific problems in economics and ecology will make the project relevant to the design and control of complex systems in real-world contexts.

The COSMIC - COmplexity in Spatial dynaMICs project is linking three research groups: Spatial Economics at the Free University of Amsterdam (VU), The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London (UCL), and the National Centre for Geocomputation (NCG) at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth (NUIM). The project aims to study urban dynamic processes using new bottom up, digital data collected for entire populations using web 2.0 technologies such as crowd-sourcing, GPS and more conventional data mining of large electronically available spatial data sets concerning social and economic transactions and interactions.

This issue of our Newsletter will also report on the recent conferences and will announce new ones, together with the now famous Reading snippets. We hope you will enjoy your reading.

-- The ASSYST Team


FET Proactive: Dynamics of Multi-Level Complex System (DyM-CS)

Multi-level systems are general and fundamental in the universe. Does science have a theory capable of explaining their dynamics? A call to help science create a general theory on complex systems in the area of multi-level systems will open during 2011. It targets exactly the dynamics of large and highly differentiated systems.

Many artificial and natural systems are characterized by a high level of differentiation in structure and organization; they exist in areas as diverse as the Internet, energy management, climate, financial markets, infrastructures (including ICT), biology, transport, epidemics, meteorology, urban planning, social simulation and policy impact assessment. In order to describe and control these systems there is a need to observe and reconstruct their dynamics and make sense of large amounts of heterogeneous data gathered on various scales. Most of these areas would benefit from an international effort in collecting and sharing data, models and from looking for a general, common theoretical approach. The science of complex systems (CSS) offers a framework for this theoretical approach.

The objective of this Initiative is to make steps towards a general theory on complex systems through contributions in the area of dynamics of multi-level systems.

Target outcomes:

a) New mathematical and computational formalisms on dynamics of multi-level systems developed and validated on real-world applications involving large and heterogeneous data sets. This could involve, for example, addressing emergence of and interactions between scales, combining the concepts of ‘programmability’ and ‘self-organisation’, or addressing 'out of equilibrium’ considerations. Priority application areas should present clearly defined challenges to ICT and/or have a relevant user/social/economic component. Through these areas, CSS should be able to provide solutions for current ICT systems or lay the foundations for new ICT paradigms. For the validation, appropriate organizational structures should be chosen, e.g. large socio-technological systems, complex biological organisms or large organizations. The latter can be validation partners, testing the theory on themselves.

b) World-class international research cooperation, global alliances in this research area, and links with similar actions outside Europe, in particular with participants from USA, Japan and China.

The details for this initiative can be downloaded from the Cordis ICT work program 2011-2012 available online.


ECCS'10 Videos

The first videos of the European Conference on Complex Systems 2010 are available in the digital library. We'll update the Library with new videos as soon as they become available.


ASSYST PerAda Workshop Videos

Ricardo Baeza-Yates We just published the videos of the ASSYST / PerAda Workshop "Towards a Science of Socially Intelligent ICT" held at the Imperial College London, August 3rd 2010. You can check them out at the digital library of the ASSYST Website.


Adaptive Socio-Technical Pervasive Systems Summer School

Which are the tools, models and technologies to be used in pervasive information and communication systems that are capable of autonomously adapt to highly dynamic contexts?

ASSYST and PerAda are co-organizing the 3rd summer school on Adaptive Socio-Techincal Pervasive Systems in Budapest, Sept. 20-27 to cover both theoretical and practical aspects related to disciplines spanning from social networking, social simulation, evolutionary computing, nature and socially-inspired computing models and pervasive and mobile computing and networking.

The summer school will be organized around tutorials on selected topics, a number of short talks and assignments to small teams of students. Participants will also participate in the first day of SASO conference tutorials and workshops, as it is included in the Summer School fee.


Newsletter - Video Competition

assyst css newsletter The August 2010 ASSYST CSS Newsletter is now available to download as a PDF. In this edition of the ASSYST / CSS newsletter we announce the ECCS'10 Video Competition at ECCS’10. See the Newsletter Page for more details.