- Invited Talks
- Other events
- NEW: Slides and Posters
The Frontiers of Natural Computing
The Frontiers of Natural Computing workshop will be held in the historic city of York. The workshop aims to highlight and discuss emerging trends and future directions in the field of natural computing, and will feature invited position papers from world-leading researchers across the field.The technical programme will focus upon the potential for future developments within the field of natural computing, addressing questions such as:
- What are the emerging trends in natural computing?
- How will current research influence future developments?
- Is the research community is heading in the right direction?
- What important ideas have been overlooked and should be revisited?
- What is there still to learn from biological and natural systems?
Attending the WorkshopWe welcome attendees from all areas of the natural computing community. Thanks to funding from the EPSRC, registration is free. We also have a number of student bursaries available, which will contribute towards the travel and accommodation costs of registered students who are presenting at the workshop. If you would like to attend, please see the Registration page.
Getting to the Workshop
The workshop is being held in the Ron Cooke Hub, located on the University of York's new Heslington East campus.
To reach Heslington East by public transport, take bus lines 44 or 4, both of which run between the railway station and the University, and get off at the last stop. See here for locations of intermediate bus stops. The journey takes approximately 15-20 minutes.
The following speakers will be giving invited talks at the workshop.
A bright light toward a solution is shining from complex systems (CS), large sets of elements interacting locally to produce an emergent behavior in a bottom-up fashion. Whether physical, biological, or social, CS can provide a powerful source of inspiration to future and emerging technologies. Understanding these systems by modeling and simulation could help create a new generation of artificial systems with the desired “self-x” properties still largely absent from classical engineering. For example, several disciplines originating from “bio-inspiration”, “artificial life” or “natural computing” have already derived principles of distributed computation from the observation of natural elements, whether neurons (Artificial Neural Networks), genes (Genetic Algorithms), ants (Ant Colony Optimization), or lymphocytes (Artificial Immune Systems).
This talk and dicussion will focus on another possible avenue of complexity engineering: biological development, or morphogenesis. Multicellular organisms are striking examples of naturally evolved systems that exhibit both self-organization *and* a strong architecture. Can we export their precise self-formation capabilities to technological systems? A new research field called “Morphogenetic Engineering” proposes to explore the artificial design and implementation of complex, heterogeneous morphologies capable of developing without central planning or external lead. Particular emphasis is set on the programmability and controllability of self-organization, properties that are often underappreciated in complex systems science—while, conversely, the benefits of multi-agent self-organization are often underappreciated in engineering methodologies. Potential applications range from swarm robotics and cyber-physical systems, to techno-social networks and synthetic biology. In all cases, the challenge is not to design the system directly but rather “meta-design” the proper set of rules followed by each agent on how to behave locally and interact with the other agents and the environment.
Under this hypothesis, many aspects of biologically plausible cognitive processing can be treated informationally, requiring only high-level constraints without having to specify detailed mechanisms. This gives rise to novel tools not only for high-level analysis of biological cognitive systems, but also for purposes of prediction and construction of biologically plausible artificial cognitive models.
The talk will give an introduction into the question and methodology and demonstrate its operation with a number of examples.
Ron Cooke Hub, University of York
The workshop will be held in the Ron Cooke Hub, home to the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis and located at the University of York's newly developed Heslington East campus.
The University of York is situated in one the most beautiful cities in Europe (voted European Tourism City of the Year in 2007). Midway between the capital cities of London and Edinburgh, and with excellent transport links, the city has a 2000 year history, yet a modern outlook.
The city (then named Eboracum) was founded by the Romans. It has always been an important centre: it was one of the capitals of Roman Britain, and for a short period the entire Roman Empire was governed from York. In the ninth century CE, the city (then called Jorvik) was made the capital of most of northern England by the Vikings, and remainded so for most of the next eight hundred years.
Largely untouched by the industrial revolution, the centre of York today retains many period buildings, cobbled streets and pedestrian-only areas, lined with cafes and speciality shops. Tourism is now a major industry, and York is the second most-visited city in England (after London).
Travelling by Air
London Heathrow is the largest UK airport, with flights to a wide range of international destinations. Upon arrival, take the Heathrow Express train to Paddington station, then change to the Hammersmith and City underground line to reach King's Cross station (this takes about 30-45 minutes). Direct trains run frequently to York and take about 2 hours. London Gatwick, London Stansted and London Luton also have public transport connections to York.
Leeds-Bradford is the closest airport to York, and has some international flights. Taxis to York take around 45 minutes. Other nearby airports with public transport connections include Newcastle, Durham Tees Valley and Humberside.
Travelling by Rail
From Europe — York can be reached in around 5 hours from Paris or Brussels by train, by taking the Eurostar from Paris Nord to London St Pancras, with a short transfer (5 minute walk) to London Kings Cross for a direct rail service to York.
From the United Kingdom — York is on the East Coast main line from London to Edinburgh, just over two hours away from London King's Cross and around 2.5 hours from Edinburgh. There are also direct express services to many other major cities, including Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow.
If you would like to attend the Frontiers of Natural Computing workshop, please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information (please copy and paste and fill in as appropriate):
Student/academic/industry (delete as appropriate)
Main research areas of interest related to the Workshop:
Special Dietary needs:
Would you like to present a poster?: Yes/No
We have a limited number of poster slots for attendees who would like to present information about their research group or company. Please indicate whether or not you would be interested in doing this.
The workshop is sponsored by the EPSRC, and registration is free.
Hotels and Bed and Breakfast
York has a wide selection of hotels and B&Bs. However, as a major tourist destination, it is recommended that you book accommodation early. Please note that the university is approximately 2 miles from the city centre and is served by a very regular bus service.
Novotel York Centre (***) lies on the bus route to the university, and is also convenient for the city centre.
Park Inn by Radisson (***) is also near a bus stop, and is located in the city centre.
The York tourist office provides an accommodation search facility.
Accommodation on Campus
You may also be interested in attending the UK Workshop on Computational Intelligence, which is being held in Edinburgh the week before this workshop, from 5th-7th September.
Slides and posters
The following slides and posters were contributed by speakers who presented at the workshop:
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Memorial University Newfoundland, Canada
KAIST, South Korea
University of Malaga, Spain
Rince Institute, Ireland
University of Hertfordshire, UK
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Portland State University, USA
Department of Electronics,
University of York
Department of Electronics,
University of York
Department of Computer Science,
University of York
Department of Biology,
University of York
14th February 2012