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The myriads of Alife: Importing complex systems and self-organization into engineering.

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1 Author(s)
RenĂ© Doursat ; Complex Systems Institute, Paris Ile-de-France (ISC-PIF), CREA, Ecole Polytechnique & CNRS, France

On the one hand, phenomena of spontaneous pattern formation are generally random and repetitive, whereas, on the other hand, complicated heterogeneous architectures are the product of human design. Biological organisms are rather unique examples of natural systems that are both self-organized and architectured. Can we export their precise self-formation capabilities to technological systems? To address this issue, I have proposed a new field of research called “Morphogenetic Engineering” [9], which explores the artificial design and implementation of autonomous systems capable of developing complex, heterogeneous morphologies. Particular emphasis is set on the programmability and controllability of self-organization, properties that are often underappreciated in complex systems science-while, conversely, the benefits of self-organization are often underappreciated in engineering methodologies.

Published in:

Artificial Life (ALIFE), 2011 IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

11-15 April 2011