How to model mind in life and life in mind? Much progress has been made in two directions, biological autonomy (protocell research) and behavioural autonomy (cognitive/adaptive robotics), but integrating the progress made in these two areas remains an open challenge. How can we model an integrated autonomous system capable of displaying both self-production and flexible, self-regulating behaviour?

Workshop done!

Many thanks to all the speakers, the discussants, and the audience for making this workshop a stimulating and enjoyable event!

We will post updates about the special issue and the possibility of a follow-up workshop in Japan as they become available.

Tom (and Matthew and Xabier)

Booklet of abstracts

We have compiled a booklet of extended abstracts for the workshop.

Please have a look at the content of the various contributions and prepare some interesting questions for their discussion at the workshop.

Workshop program and information

Dear WAAT presenters,

We are happy to announce that the WAAT workshop program has now been finalized. Please check the schedule in order to verify that your details are correct and to see when you will be presenting. Also, please check the ECAL 2011 website for information about where to find the Salon de l’Argentine at the conference venue.

Here is some additional information about the workshop (please pass this along to your colleagues):

– We are still in the process of compiling the workshop abstracts into a small booklet (should be available soon)
– Apparently, free wireless internet will be available in the room, but no computers.
– Please bring your own laptop for your presentation.
– Many of you have asked about possible reductions in registration fee and/or accommodation prices. Unfortunately, we have no control over these matters and even as workshop organizers we are subject to the same constraints.
– At least the registration fee will cover the following food and drinks (I’m copying this from the organizers e-mail):

“4.a BREAKFAST: Every morning from 8am to 9am, a breakfast buffet will be served (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fresh juice, mineral water, croissants and other pastries). On Monday August 8, it will be located in the lobby of the mezzanine level, then starting on Tuesday 9, it will be moved inside the Adenauer Halls.

4.b COFFEE BREAKS: Several other coffee breaks (in the mid-morning, mid-afternoon and, some days, late afternoon) will be served at the same location as the breakfast buffet. Please check the times on the program here: http://ecal11.org/program

4.c LUNCH BREAKS will consist of a “lunch box” package, composed of (a) a sandwich or a salad, (b) a dessert and (c) a drink. You will have several choices every day, varying from day to day (typical sandwiches: ham, egg, tuna, chicken, cheese / salads: salmon, noodle, mixed veggie / desserts: apple pie, chocolate tart, yogurt, fruit salad). All lunch breaks are scheduled from 12:10pm to 1:40pm, except the first day Monday 8, from 1pm to 2:30pm.”

So we hope to see you bright and early for a WAAT breakfast next Monday morning!

All the best,
Tom (and Matthew and Xabier)

Workshop program is almost ready

We have received the reviewers recommendations, have informed the contributors about the status of their workshop submissions, and have received their revised abstracts.

In order to accommodate a diverse set of speakers we decided to have two kinds of presentations: normal and short talks. Normal talks are scheduled for 45 minutes (30mins talk with 15mins discussion), while short talks are scheduled for 30 minutes (20mins talk with 10mins discussion).

We are now in the process of finalizing the workshop schedule and workshop program. These will be made available on this website as soon as possible.

Reviewing almost done…

The announcement of the decisions was supposed to be today, but we are still waiting for some of the reviewers to provide us with feedback.

We will announce the decisions as soon as possible…

Reviewing begins

Many thanks to everyone who submitted an extended abstract to the workshop. We are now in the process of assigning reviewers to the submissions and we will let you know their responses as soon as possible.

Extended deadline: May 16

Due to the extension of the submission deadline for the main ECAL conference we have decided to give everyone more time to submit their abstracts to the autonomy workshop as well.

The new deadline for submission is: May 16!

Special Issue of Artificial Life

We have received confirmation from Mark Bedau that we can organize a special issue of Artificial Life based on the proceedings of this workshop.

Authors of the best selected abstracts will be invited to present full-length papers at a follow-up workshop, and these papers will be published in the journal.

CFP: Workshop on Artificial Autonomy

The scientific committee has been assembled and the following CFP has been released:

CFP for Workshop on Artificial Autonomy: 20 years of practice of autonomous systems

– WAAT: Official Workshop for ECAL2011 –
8th August 2011, Paris, France


This year’s European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL) in Paris celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first ECAL and is dedicated to Francisco Varela’s work on biological autonomy. We are taking advantage of this opportunity to set up an ECAL satellite event, a Workshop on Artificial Autonomy (WAAT) to highlight the state of the art in the practice of autonomous systems.


May 2 (Monday): Submission of abstracts deadline
June 15 (Wednesday): Announcement of editors decision
August 8 (Monday): Workshop starts
Continue reading

Workshop accepted

Good news! The ECAL organizers have accepted our satellite workshop proposal and kindly given us two 4-hour slots before the main conference.

We are now in the process of assembling the scientific committee for the workshop. A call for papers will be sent out soon.