Title:Emergence and adaptability in complex systems

Speaker: Dr. Jeff Sanders(Principal Research Fellow International Institute for Software Technology,United Nations University)


Venue:Lecture Room, Level 3 Building #5, Institute of Software, CAS

Abstract:Many important problems confronting Computer Scientists these days relate to complex information systems
(like the web, cyberphysical and societal systems). Typically such systems have not been designed in detail, and may
even have `just arisen' (like the web), so that little assurance can be given of their behaviour. Methods are
needed for engineering them in an accountable manner.
We begin by discussing exactly why such systems are difficult: the problem of capturing and engineering
emergent behaviour. Indeed it has even been claimed that some systems exhibiting emergence (namely, the
glider in Conway's Game of Life) cannot be specified and incrementally developed; we demonstrate that to be
false by providing such a development. We then focus on multi-agent systems, discuss the importance of
adaptability of agents, and propose a way in which adaptability can be incorporated into Formal Methods.

Speaker's Bio.:Jeff Sanders is Principle Research Fellow at the International Institute for Software Technology of the United Nations University (UNU-IIST). Before joining UNU-IIST he worked for 22 years in the Programming Research Group at Oxford; before that he worked, mostly as a Pure Mathematician, in Australia. He holds degrees in Pure Mathematics (Hons) from Monash University and a PhD (Abstract Harmonic Analysis) from the Australian National University.
His interest lie largely in Formal Methods, both theory and applications.In particular he is interested in techniques for system specification and development, and their extension to include recent paradigms of computation.
Other interests include keeping fit, music, reading and cabinet making.