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Paper Details

  title = "{E}ngineering {E}mergence: an occam-pi {A}dventure",
  author= "Welch, Peter H. and Wallnau, Kurt and Klein, Mark",
  editor= "Welch, Peter H. and Roebbers, Herman and Broenink, Jan F. and Barnes, Frederick R. M. and Ritson, Carl G. and Sampson, Adam T. and Stiles, G. S. and Vinter, Brian",
  pages = "403--403",
  booktitle= "{C}ommunicating {P}rocess {A}rchitectures 2009",
  isbn= "978-1-60750-065-0",
  year= "2009",
  month= "nov",
  abstract= "Future systems will be too complex to design and implement
     explicitly. Instead, we will have to learn to engineer
     complex behaviours indirectly: through the discovery and
     application of local rules of behaviour, applied to simple
     process components, from which desired behaviours
     predictably emerge through dynamic interactions
     between massive numbers of instances. This talk considers
     such indirect engineering of emergence using a
     process-oriented architecture. Different varieties of
     behaviour may emerge within a single application, with
     interactions between them provoking ever-richer patterns ­
     almost social systems. We will illustrate with a study based
     on Reynolds' boids: emergent behaviours include flocking
     (of course), directional migration (with waves), fear and
     panic (of hawks), orbiting (points of interest), feeding
     frenzy (when in a large enough flock), turbulent flow and
     maze solving. With this kind of engineering, a new problem
     shows up: the suppression of the emergence of undesired
     behaviours. The panic reaction within a flock to the sudden
     appearance of a hawk is a case in point. With our
     present rules, the flock loses cohesion and scatters too
     quickly, making individuals more vulnerable. What are the
     rules that will make the flock turn almost-as-one and
     maintain most of its cohesion? There are only the boids to
     which these rules may apply (there being, of course, no
     design or programming entity corresponding to a flock).
     More importantly, how do we set about finding such rules in
     the first place? Our architecture and models are written in
     occam-pi, whose processes are sufficiently lightweight to
     enable a sufficiently large mass to run and be interacted
     with for real-time experiments on emergent behaviour. This
     work is in collaboration with the Software Engineering
     Institute (at CMU) and is part of the CoSMoS project (at the
     Universities of Kent and York in the UK)."

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