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Sixth International Workshop on
Guided Self-Organization

The 6th International Workshop on Guided Self-Organization is a satellite Workshop at the 2013 European Conference on Complex Systems. ECCS2013 takes place in Barcelona, 16 to 20 September 2013 in the World Trade Center Barcelona. The Complex Systems Society sponsors this annual event.   Please join us on September 18, 2013!

Research Aims and Topics

The goal of Guided Self-Organization (GSO) is to leverage the strengths of self-organization while still being able to direct the outcome of the self-organizing process. GSO typically has the following features: (i) an increase in organization (structure and/or functionality) over some time; (ii) the local interactions are not explicitly guided by any external agent; (iii) task-independent objectives are combined with task-dependent constraints.

Of particular interest are well-founded, but general methods for characterizing such systems in a principled way with the view of ultimately allowing them to be guided toward pre-specified goals. Information theory, nonlinear dynamics and graph theory are core to many of these methods, and quantifying complexity and its sources is a common theme.

A number of attempts have been made to formalize aspects of GSO within information theory and dynamical systems: empowerment, information-driven evolution, robust overdesign, reinforcementdriven homeokinesis, predictive information-based homeokinesis, interactive learning, etc. What is common to many examples of GSO is the characterization of a system-environment loop in information-theoretic terms. However, the lack of a broadly applicable mathematical framework across multiple scales and contexts leaves GSO methodology incomplete. Devising such a framework and identifying common principles of guidance are the main themes of the GSO-2013 workshop, continuing the tradition established at previous GSO Workshops: GSO-2008 (Sydney, Australia), GSO-2009 (Leipzig, Germany), GSO-2010 (Bloomington, USA), GSO-2011 (Hatfield, UK), and GSO-2012 (Sydney, Australia).

The GSO-2013 workshop will bring together invited experts and researchers in self-organizing systems, with particular emphasis on the information- and graph-theoretic foundations of GSO and the information dynamics of adaptive systems. The following topics are of special interest: information-theoretic measures of complexity, nonlinear dynamics, complex networks, information-driven self-organization (IDSO), applications of GSO to complex networks, distributed computation, machine learning, swarm intelligence, bio-inspired systems, computational neuroscience, systems biology, cooperative and modular robotics, etc.


The workshop program will include 1 day of presentations, with three keynote talks (1 hour each), regular presentations (30 minutes or more, depending upon the number of accepted talks), as well as a poster session.

Submissions to the workshop are extended abstracts (one-two pages). Authors of accepted submissions will present the content to the workshop. It is expected that post-workshop publication of selected papers will follow in a special journal issue (as has been the case for previous GSO workshops). Selected papers of GSO-2008 were published by the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Journal, in the Special Issue on Guided Self-Organization (full text papers online here). A special issue of Theory in Biosciences followed with selected papers from GSO-2009 online. Selected papers from GSO-2010 and GSO-2011 were published in a topical issue of Advances in Complex Systems. A Springer book is in preparation following GSO-2012.