The themes of the workshop can be grouped into broadly overlapping categories: theory, history, modelling, measurement, and implementation of autonomous systems. A goal of the workshop is to address these issues with empirical and computational modelling approaches as much as possible. In this vein, integrative models are particularly encouraged.

Possible themes include but are not limited to the following specific topics:

a) To assess the progress made during 20 years of modelling, measuring, conceptualizing and synthesizing autonomous systems
b) To further clarify the concepts underlying the notion of autonomy (and related concepts such as autopoiesis, closure to efficient causation, enaction, emergence, agency, etc.)
c) To advance current methods of formalizing and measuring autonomy (e.g. with information theory, category theory, dynamical systems theory, etc.)
d) To evaluate the current state of the art on the modelling of specific types of autonomy:
– protocellular or autopoietic autonomy,
– cognitive or behavioural autonomy,
– multicellular autonomy,
– social autonomy, etc.
e) To address the issue of modeling different levels of autonomy (metabolic, behavioural, social) and their relationship (inclusive, mutually-dependent, hierarchical, etc.)

More specific topics/questions for submission can be found here.

SPECIAL CHALLENGE: 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 produce an integrated autonomous system capable of displaying both self-production and flexible, self-regulating behaviour?


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