A call for participation and posters for a symposium on:
Starting from Society
- the application of social analogies to computational systems

Held as part of AISB 2000 in Birmingham, 17th-20th April 2000.

Co-chaired by Bruce Edmonds and Kerstin Dautenhahn

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Recently there have been a number of workshops and special issues that indicate increasing interest in this area, including: Understanding how societies work and the role they play in the construction and function of intelligence has turned out to be much more complex and important than most researchers in AI would have predicted. This is in marked contrast to sociology and social cognitive science where this has been common knowledge for some time. It is now time to pay attention to these social phenomena in their own right so that they can be analysed and applied in AI.


This symposium is to consider how ideas and analogies drawn from observations of real societies might be applied to computational systems. Recently biology has been a source of inspiration for AI, e.g. spawning the field of evolutionary computation.  Now ideas and analogies drawn from the social sciences are starting to be used in computational systems. This is partly because it is being recognised that controlling interacting societies of artificial agents is difficult - traditional methods can not anticipate the emergent outcomes, so that some researchers are looking to real societies. Another strand is the increasing recognition that much of what we had labelled as individual intelligence derives from the society it inhabits. A third strand can be traced to the influence of social simulation techniques. This symposium will focus on these areas, welcoming especially interdisciplinary work and work grounded in observation of real societies and real problems.

The Papers (click on title or see the list of  abstracts)

Rosario Conte Intelligent Social Learning
Kerstin Dautenhahn Reverse Engineering of Societies - A Biological Perspective
Jim Doran The Archeology of Artificial Societies
Bruce Edmonds The Inconstructability of Artificial Intelligence by Design - the necessary social development of an agent that can pass the Turing Test
Guido Fioretti Recognition of investment opportunities and generation of investment cycles
Sven Heitsch, Daniela Hinck & Marcel Martens A New Look into Garbage Cans - Petri Nets and Organisational Choice
Leslie Henrickson Having a Sense of Ourselves: Technology and Personal Identity
Lindsay Marshall & Savas Parastatidis Modelling Agents using the Hotel Analogy: Sanitised for your Protection?
Christopher Nehaniv The Making of Meaning in Societies:  Semiotic & Information-Theoretic Background to the Evolution of Communication
Bob Price & Craig Boutilier Imitation and Reinformcement Learning with Heterogeneous Actions
Michael Schillo, Steve Allen, Klaus Fischer & Christof Klein Socially Competent Business Agents with Attitude - Using Habitus-Field Theory to Design Agents with Social Competence
Alexander Staller & Paolo Petta Introducing Emotions into the Computational Study of Social Norms
Ian Wright The Society of Mind Requires an Economy of Mind

General AISB2000 Information

General information about the whole AISB2000 symposium can be found at:
Links to the pages of some of the other syposia can be found at:


We will publish all accepted papers (extended, full, poster and position) in the pre-proceedings which will have the AISB ISSN number. All papers will be published on the web as part of the CPM-Report series and linked from this page.

After the symposium revised and expanded versions of symposium papers will be re-reviewed and a selection of them published in special issue of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) in early 2001 along with papers from an open call for papers on the same subject (see the special issue web page).

Programme Committee:

Contact Information:

Bruce Edmonds,
Centre for Policy Modelling,
Manchester Metropolitan University,
Aytoun Building, Aytoun St.,
Manchester M1 3GH. UK.
E-mail: B.Edmonds@mmu.ac.uk
Fax: +44 (0) 161-247 6802 
Tel: +44 (0) 161-247 6479
Kerstin Dautenhahn,
Adaptive Systems Research Group 
Department of Computer Science 
University of Hertfordshire 
College Lane, Hatfield, 
Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, UK.
E-mail: K.Dautenhahn@herts.ac.uk
Fax: +44 (0) 707 284 303
Tel: +44 (0) 1707 284 321