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First International Workshop on Morphogenetic Engineering
Complex Systems Institute, Paris, June 19, 2009
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OverviewThis workshop aims to promote a new field of research called "Morphogenetic Engineering", which will explore the artificial design and implementation of autonomous systems capable of developing complex, heterogeneous morphologies. A particular focus will be on the programmability and controllability of self-organizing complex systems, properties that are often underappreciated in many disciplines.
Engineering products are generally made of a number of unique, heterogeneous components, assembled in a precise and complicated way, and work deterministically following the specifications given by the designers. By contrast, self-organization in natural systems (physical, biological, ecological) often depends on the repetition of identical components and the stochasticity in their dynamics. These systems produce nontrivial, yet relatively regular patterns or behaviors that can be described with a small number of macroscopic variables.
One salient exception is the morphogenesis of biological organisms. Morphogenetic processes demonstrate the possibility of combining self-organization and elaborate structures. Organisms are made of segments and parts arranged in specific ways that resemble the products of human inventiveness. Moreover, they self-assemble in a decentralized fashion, under the precise control of genetic and epigenetic information stored in the zygote. In other words, they are the examples of programmable self-organization, a concept that has not been sufficiently explored in complex systems science and engineering so far. How do biological organisms achieve morphogenetic tasks so reliably? Can we export their self-formation capabilities to engineered systems? What are principles and best practices for the design and engineering of such morphogenetic systems?
For more information, see the Call for Abstracts. To submit an abstract and/or register to this no-fee workshop, please fill out the Submission & Registration form.
If you have any comment or question, feel free to contact the organizers. Thank you for your interest.
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