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Paper Details

%T Engineering Emergence: an occam\-pi Adventure
%A Peter H. Welch, Kurt Wallnau, Mark Klein
%E Peter H. Welch, Herman Roebbers, Jan F. Broenink, Frederick R. M. Barnes, Carl G. Ritson, Adam T. Sampson, G. S. Stiles, Brian Vinter
%B Communicating Process Architectures 2009
%X 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\[rs] 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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