International Conference on Complex Systems

Boston Area

September 21-26, 1997

Host: New England Complex Systems Institute 

With: Oxford University Press

Conference Chairman: 

  • Yaneer Bar-Yam

Executive Committee:

  • Temple Smith - Boston University

  • Sean Pidgeon - Oxford University Press


  • Santa Fe Institute

  • Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences

  • College of Engineering, Boston University

Partial Support Provided by:

  • National Science Foundation

  • Coopers and Librand Consulting

  • McKinsey and Company

  • Addison-Wesley Longman

  • John Benjamin Publishers


  • Philip W. Anderson - Princeton University

  • Kenneth J. Arrow - Stanford University

  • Michel Baranger - MIT

  • Per Bak - Niels Bohr Institute

  • Charles H. Bennett - IBM

  • William A. Brock - University of Wisconsin

  • Charles R. Cantor - Boston University

  • Noam A. Chomsky - MIT

  • Leon Cooper - Brown University

  • Daniel Dennett - Tufts University

  • Irving Epstein - Brandeis University

  • Michael S. Gazzaniga - Dartmouth College

  • William Gelbart - Harvard University

  • Murray Gell-Mann - CalTech / Santa Fe Institute

  • Pierre-Gilles de Gennes - ESPCI

  • Stephen Grossberg - Boston University

  • Michael Hammer - Hammer & Co

  • John Holland - University of Michigan

  • John J. Hopfield - Princeton University

  • Jerome Kagan - Harvard University

  • Stuart A. Kauffman - Santa Fe Institute

  • Chris Langton - Santa Fe Institute

  • Roger Lewin - Harvard University

  • Richard C. Lewontin - Harvard University

  • Albert J. Libchaber - Rockefeller University

  • Seth Lloyd - MIT

  • Andrew W. Lo - MIT

  • Daniel W. McShea - Duke University

  • Marvin Minsky - MIT

  • Harold J. Morowitz - George Mason University

  • Alan Perelson - Los Alamos National Lab

  • Claudio Rebbi - Boston Unversity

  • Herbert A. Simon - Carnegie Mellon University

  • Temple F. Smith - Boston University

  • H. Eugene Stanley - Boston University

  • John Sterman - MIT

  • James H. Stock - Harvard University

  • Gerald J. Sussman - MIT

  • Edward O. Wilson - Harvard University

  • Shuguang Zhang - MIT

There has been a strong expression of interest in response to our first conference announcement. Given the many disciplines whose current research involves the study of complex systems, we are planning a conference with two major aims: first, to investigate those properties or characteristics that appear to be common to the very different complex systems now under study; and second, to encourage cross fertilization among the many disciplines involved.



Sessions will be structured around both themes and systems.

The themes are:

  • EMERGENCE, STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION: substructure, the relationship of component to collective behavior, the relationship of internal structure to external influence.

  • INFORMATICS: structuring, storing, accessing, and distributing information describing complex systems.

  • COMPLEXITY: characterizing the amount of information necessary to describe complex systems, and the dynamics of this information.

  • DYNAMICS: time series analysis and prediction, chaos, temporal correlations, the time scale of dynamic processes.

  • SELF-ORGANIZATION: pattern formation, evolution, development and adaptation.

The system categories are:

  • FUNDAMENTALS, PHYSICAL & CHEMICAL SYSTEMS: spatio-temporal patterns and chaos, fractals, dynamic scaling, non-equilibrium processes, hydrodynamics, glasses, non-linear chemical dynamics, complex fluids, molecular self-organization, information and computation in physical systems.

  • BIO-MOLECULAR & CELLULAR SYSTEMS: protein and DNA folding, bio-molecular informatics, membranes, cellular response and communication, genetic regulation, gene- cytoplasm interactions, development, cellular differentiation, primitive multicellular organisms, the immune system.

  • CELLULAR SYSTEMS: cellular response and communication, genetic regulation, gene-cytoplasm interactions, development, cellular differentiation, primitive multicellular organisms, the immune system.

  • PHYSIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS: nervous system, neuro-muscular control, neural network models of brain, cognition, psychofunction, pattern recognition, man-machine interactions.

  • HUMAN SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS: corporate and social structures, markets, the global economy, the Internet.


(* indicates confirmed speaker or session chair)

Sunday, Sept. 21

9:00AM-5:00PM PEDAGOGICAL SESSIONS (Preliminary)

*Michael Lissack - Pedagogical sessions: session chair.
*Atlee Jackson - nonlinear dynamics
*Richard J. Gaylord - cellular automata with mathematica
*Norm Margolus - cellular automata machines
*Richard Lewontin - evolution
*David Fogel - evolutionary computation
*Michael Gazzaniga - neuroscience
*Jeffrey Goldstein - psychology and corporations
*Seth Lloyd - complexity



*Sean Pidgeon - Reception: session chair.
*Matthew Golombeck - Mars pathfinder

Monday, Sept. 22


*Charles Cantor - Emergence: session chair

*Daniel Keyser - meteorology
*David Fell - biochemical emergence
*Steve Lansing - social emergence in anthropology
*Hayward Alker - political emergence at the world level


*Seth Lloyd - Complexity: session chair

*Charles Bennett - information and complexity
*Greg Chaitin - algorithmic complexity
*Murray Gell-Mann - patterns and complexity
*Dan McShea - estimated complexity of biological systems


*Michel Baranger - Scaling: session chair

*H. Eugene Stanley - when averaging does not apply
*Per Bak - self-organization and scaling

Tuesday, Sept. 23


*Melanie Mitchell - Self-organization: session chair

*Ken Showalter - chemical patterns
*Albert Goldbeter - modeling biological patterns
*Gunter Wagner - evolution
*Robert Berwick - evolution of language


*Tom Ray - evolution of artificial systems
*Margaret Geller - astrophysical patterns


*Stuart Kauffman - evolution and webs in economics: session chair
*Mark Newman, *Per Bak, *Stuart Pimm 

*Mehran Kardar - scaling: session chair
*Geoffrey West, *Daniel H. Rothman, *Didier Sornette, *Vincent A. Billock/J. A. Scott Kelso/Gonzalo C. De Guzman 

*Jim Crutchfield - measures of structural complexity: session chair
*Dave Feldman, *William Macready/David Wolpert, *Ing Ren Tsang/Ing Jyh Tsang, *Gad Yagil, *Martin Zwick 

*Robert Axtell/*Kristian Lindgren - modeling social systems: session chair
*Jeff Schank, *James Uber/Ali Minai


*Shuguang Zhang - biomolecular/cellular systems: session chair
*Don Ingber, *Hyman Hartman, *Christian Forst 

*Gunter Wagner - evolution: session chair
*Elena Budrene, *David Gutnick/Eshel Ben Jacob, *Kei Tokita, *Lee Altenberg, *Andreas Wagner, *Raffaele Calabretta 

*Piet Hut - modeling modeling: session chair
*Evelyn Fox Keller, *Javier Dolado, *Stuart Kauffman, *Christian Reidys 

*Ken Showalter - controlling chaotic systems: session chair
*F. Tito Arecchi, *Mingzhou Ding, *Jim Collins, *Atlee Jackson 

*Marshall VanAlstyne - organizational structure and behavior: session chair
*Jim Hines, *Michael Lissack, *Steve Maguire

Wednesday, Sept. 24


*Richard Strohman - informatics: session chair

*David Kingsbury - information management
*William Gelbart - Drosophila
*Temple Smith - replication and compression



*Seth Lloyd - engineering complexity: session chair

*Alex d'Arbeloff - Engineering management at Teradyne
*Frans Kaashoek - Software design

Thursday, Sept. 25


*Jim Collins - Time series: session chair

*Jim Stock - economic time series
*Blake LeBaron - markets
*Richard Cohen - chaotic hearts
*Ary Goldberger - fractal hearts


*Bruce Boghosian - simulation and modeling: session chair

*Claudio Rebbi - simulations
*Melanie Mitchell - cellular automata / genetic algorithms


*Harold Morowitz - origin of life: session chair
*Roland Somogyi, *Shuguang Zhang, *Peter Wills, *Stuart Kauffman 

*Jim Stock/*Jim Collins - time series: session chair
*Tim Sauer, *Frank Moss, *Bruce Hansen, *Frank Diebold 

*Lynn Stein / *Larry Rudolph - computational systems: session chair
*Mitchel Resnick, Kazuhiro Saitou, Yasuo Kuniyoshi 

*Bruce Boghosian - simulation and modeling: session chair
*Frank Alexander, *David Meyer


*Jerome Kagan - banquet chair

*Herbert Simon - complexity and emergence

Friday, Sept. 26


*Gerald J. Sussman - Emergence in mind and brain: session chair

*Michael Gazzaniga - evidence from split brains
*Marvin Minsky - specialization
*Stephen Grossberg - adaptive resonance
*Steve Pinker - language acquisition / how the mind works


*Dan Dennett, *William Sulis - Discussion chairs 


Petra Ahrweiler -- Modeling a Theory Agency as a Toolkit for Science Studies SiSiFOS: Simulating Studies on the internal Formation and the Organization of Science

Philippe Binder -- Droplet Breakdown in Cellular Automata

Bart de Boeck -- From Inductive Inference to the Fundamental Equation of Measurement

Stefan Boettcher -- Aging in a Model of Self-Organized Criticality

Valery K. Bykovsky -- Man-Made Structures Encoded with Molecular Information (Computer-Engineered Physical Reality: A Synthesized Complexity)

Chang H. Choi -- The Empirical Relationship of Self-Organizing System to Organizational Effectiveness

Marshall Clemens -- Toward a Model of the Complex Systems Domain

David R. Collins -- Stochastic bifurcations in biological coordination

Michael Chechelnitsky -- Error estimation in ocean circulation models

T. Gregory Dewey -- Algorithmic Complexity and Thermodynamics of Molecular Evolution

Michael Doebeli -- Controlling spatial chaos in metapopulation models with long-range interactions

Udo Erdmann -- Structure formation by Active Brownian particles with nonlinear friction

David Fell -- Systems properties of metabolic networks

Andrew M. Fraser -- Chaos and detection

Stefanie Fuhrman -- Genetic Network Modeling and Inference

Mario Giampietro -- Biophysical analyses of socioeconomic processes in relation to the sustainability issue

Paul Halpern -- Emergent Behavior in Structurally Dynamic Cellular Automata

Jeff Hausdorff -- Fractal Dynamics of Human Walking Rhythm

Collin Hill -- Transition to Chaos and Models of Genetic Networks

Vasant Honavar -- Kolmogorov Complexity, Simple Distributions, and Inductive Learning

Anders Irb\ack, Carsten Peterson, Frank Potthast and Ola Sommelius -- Local Interactions and Protein Folding: a 3D Off-Lattice Approach

Michael J. Jacobson -- Complex Systems, Cognition, and Problem Solving: A Preliminary Investigation

Mariusz H. Jakubowski -- Information transfer between solitary waves in the saturable Schroedinger equation

Viktor Jirsa -- A field theory of electromagnetic brain activity

Brian D. Josephson -- An integrated theory of nervous system functioning embracing nativism and constructivism

David Keirsey -- Toward the Physics of Death

Leonid Khaimovich -- Complexity of Analyzing Complexity: Dynamics of Root Cause Analysis in a Cross-Functional Business Process Re-Engineering Team

Brendan Kitts -- Regulation of Complex Systems

Guenter Kueppers Bielefeld -- Coping with Uncertainty: The Self-Organization of the Social

Jeho Lee -- Innovation, Increasing Returns and Industry Bifurcation: The Emergence of Strategic Groups

Steven Lehar -- Harmonic Resonance Standing Wave Patterns as a Representation of Geometrical Form in Biological Systems

Shoudan Liang -- Life at the Edge of Chaos: Analysis and Simulation of Kauffman Networks

Larry S. Liebovitch -- Cell Membrane Ion Channels: A Complex System at the Molecular Level

Michael R. Lissack -- The Fundierung of Emergence: Just what has 'Complexity' done to 'Organization Science'?

Marcial F. Losada -- The Complex Dynamics of High Performance Teams

Francisco Louca -- Ragnar Frisch at the edge of chaos

Steve Maguire -- A Rugged Landscape Framework for Understanding Configurations

Cameel H. Makhoul & Edward N. Trifonov-- Periodical recurrence of translation pause sties in mRNA and standard sizes of protein sequence segments and independently folding domains

Philip Maymin -- Programming Complex Systems

Kozo Mayumi -- Biophysical analyses of socioeconomic processes in relation to the sustainability issue

Jason G. Mezey & Gunter Wagner -- Canalization by Directional Selection Through Genetic Piracy

Kenneth J. Moriarty -- Parallel Computational Complexity in Statistical Physics

Jeff Morrow -- Estimating Product Line Architecture Complexity: Application to 'Sunset' Technology Gracefully

Danko Nikolic -- A dual processing theory of brain and mind: where is the limited processing capacity coming from?

Partha Niyogi and Robert C. Berwick -- Language Change and Dynamical Systems

Clemens Potter, Bernhard Sendhoff and Werner von Seelen -- The Role of Information in Evolving Biological Systems

Michael A. Riley -- Chaotic dynamics of rhythmic movements

Andrew J. Rixon -- Pattern Generation in Simulated Biological Systems

Luis Mateus Rocha -- Matter and Symbols: Requirements for Evolving Complexity

James N. Rose -- Robust Non-Fractal Complexity

Helge Rose -- Evolutionary Strategies of Optimization and the Complexity of Fitness Landscapes

Matthias Ruth -- Dynamic Modeling of Economy-Environment Interactions: The Case of Metals and Fuels in the US

Kazuhiro Saitou -- Conformational Switching as Assembly Instructions in Self-Assembling Mechanical Systems

Marie-Vee Santana -- Small scale oscillatory dynamics of the haptic perceptual system

Bruce K. Sawhill -- Statistical Mechanics of Boolean Nets

Jeff Schank -- Self-Organized Huddles of Rat Pups Modeled by Simple Rules of Individual Behavior

Bernard Sendhoff, Clemens Potter and Werner von Seelen -- The Role of Information in Evolving Biological Systems

Lawrence Kai Shih -- How you can get rich --slowly

Jacqueline Signorini -- Folded and Immersed Cellular Automata

Robin Snyder -- Cluster size in the contact process: a step toward understanding predator-prey individual-based models

Didier Sornette -- Emergence in earthquakes: from atomic scale transformations to mechanical rupture

W. Sulis and I. N. Trofimova -- TIGoRS as an Associative Memory in Complex Syste