2008: YORK, UK

CoSMoS Workshop Programme

Draft schedule

8:30 Registration
9:00 Arrival and Welcome
9:15 Andrews, Sampson
CoSMoS, the project
10:00 Paunovski, Eleftherakis, Cowling
"Framework for Empirical Exploration of Emergence using Multi-Agent Simulation"
10:45 coffee
11:00 Alexander, Alexander-Bown, Kelly
"Engineering Safety-Critical Complex Systems"
11:45 Garnett, Stepney, Leyser
"Towards an Executable Model of Auxin Transport Canalisation"
12:30 lunch
2:00 Andrews, Polack, Sampson, Timmis, Scott, Coles
"Simulating biology: towards understanding what the simulation shows"
2:45 Whitham
The CoSMoS multi-FPGA simulation facility
3:15 tea break
3:30 Panel discussion
4:00 close


  • Ognen Paunovski, George Eleftherakis, Tony Cowling
    Framework for Empirical Exploration of Emergence using Multi-Agent Simulation
    Abstract. In recent years the concept of emergence has gained much attention as computer systems have started exhibiting properties usually associated with complex systems. Although emergence creates many problems for engineering complex computerized systems by introducing undesired behaviour, it also offers many possibilities for advancements in the area of adaptive self-organizing systems. However, at the moment, the inability to predict and control emergent phenomena prevents us from exploring its full potential or avoiding problems in existing complex systems. Towards this end, this paper proposes a framework for structured empirical study of complex systems exhibiting emergence. The framework relies on agent-oriented modelling and simulation as a tool for examination of speci c manifestations of emergence. The main idea is to use an iterative simulation process in order to build a coarse taxonomy of causal relations between the micro and the macro layers. In addition to detailed description of the framework, the paper also elaborates different aspects of ongoing work on herd dynamics case study.
  • Robert Alexander, Ruth Alexander-Bown, Tim Kelly
    Engineering Safety-Critical Complex Systems
    Abstract. Some of the complex systems with which the CoSMoS project is concerned are safety-critical, and if such systems are ever to be built and operated then they will need to be certified safe to operate. By looking at how conventional safetycritical systems are developed, we can find basic principles for safety-critical complex systems -- this may be harder or easier than non-safety-specialists expect. In this paper, we outline current safety engineering methods and illustrate them using an artificial platelet case study. We also summarise our previous work on using simulation in safety engineering, and make some observations about applying simulation to very small systems.
  • Philip Garnett, Susan Stepney, Ottoline Leyser
    Towards an Executable Model of Auxin Transport Canalisation
    Abstract. We describe our use of a modelling and development process to specify and implement biological simulations that involves the development of several different UML models to capture different perspectives on the system being modelled, in particular the investigation of various emergent properties. We use this process in the case of an auxin canalisation simulation, investigating the processes of auxin transport as guided by PIN proteins, in a developing plant. We discuss our preliminary results of investigating one hypothesis of PIN protein placement that fails to demonstrate canalisation in simulation.
  • Paul S. Andrews, Fiona Polack, Adam T. Sampson, Lisa Scott, Mark Coles
    Simulating biology: towards understanding what the simulation shows
    Abstract. When building simulations of complex systems the task of validation is often overlooked. Validation helps provide confidence in the simulation by exploring the link between the models that we build and the real complex system. We investigate software engineering validation techniques from outside the area of complex systems to assess their applicability for the types of simulation we build. We then provide an example of how such techniques can be applied to a complex systems simulation of cells migrating from blood vessels into lymph nodes through the walls of the blood vessels. We suggest that explicitly stating the modelling and simulation assumptions we make is key to the process of validation. Concluding, we highlight a possible process for validating complex systems that explicitly incorporates environmental aspects.