CFP: Alife VII Workshop - Evolution of Sensors

Daniel Polani polani at
Tue Apr 11 10:21:14 EST 2000


			   Call for Papers
		   Workshop at ARTIFICIAL LIFE VII
       Evolution of Sensors in Nature, Hardware and Simulation
   A workshop on evolution of sensors in nature, hardware and simulation
   is to be organized within the Artificial Life VII Conference August
   1-August 6, 2000, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, USA.

   I. Workshop Topic
   An individual agent is situated in its environment. The environment
   can influence the agent in a variety of ways during its ontogeny and
   phylogeny, and the agent influences conditions in its environment.
   Sensors and actuators constitute the "interface" between environment
   and agent, allowing the agent to monitor, react to, and guide its
   interactions with the environment. Efficient sensors which provide
   information about the agent's own state and the state of the
   environment are therefore crucial to the survival of the agent.
   In natural evolution one finds impressive examples of the principle of
   exploiting new sensory channels and making use of the information they
   carry. A diversity of olfactory, tactile, auditory and visual, but
   also e.g. electrical and even magnetic senses have evolved, often
   utilizing body parts not originally "intended" for the purpose they
   serve at present. To give an example, photoreceptors of widely
   different degrees of differentiation have evolved in at least forty
   independent lines of descent.
   Research in sensor evolution aims at:
    1. insights into how biological systems evolve strategies to access
       new "information channels" in the environment
    2. developing new concepts for design of sensors for flexible and
       adaptive autonomous agents
    3. developing an understanding of the relationship between the
       information available to an agent and the way it is processed.
   The intention of the workshop is to approach these questions by
   studying biological systems as well as hardware or software
   realizations of evolvable sensors.
   A special journal issue of Artificial Life on sensor evolution is in
   preparation. Authors and participants of the workshop will
   have the opportunity to submit to the special issue.

   II. Topics of interest
   Submissions are solicited on any of the following topics:
     * Sensor evolution in nature, diversity and structure of biological
       sensors, characteristics of biological sensors in relationship to
       the environment, adaptive properties of biological sensors,
       biological sensors and how they increase adaptivity and survival
       of animals, relationship between evolution of sensors and
       behavioral and morphological characteristics
     * Design concepts for artificial sensors and their evolution, the
       role of sensors in building complete, autonomous agents and how
       they interact with the environment
     * Relationship between sensors, perception and actuation
     * Hardware realizations of evolvable sensors, evolutionary robotics
     * Simulated artificial sensors, experiments modeling natural sensor
     * Evolution of artificial sensors, bodies, and control, suitability
       of different control approaches (e.g. neural networks) for
       evolving  life-like agents
     * Evolution of artificial sensors and communication, inter- and
       intraspecific interactions
     * Feature identification as meta-sensors
     * Abstract sensor evolution models, abstract mathematical modeling
       of evolution of sensors and the information processing required
     * Related Issues

   III.  Submissions and Workshop format
   Prospective authors are requested to send their submissions (4 pages)
   until May 19, 2000 to
   Daniel Polani
   Institute of Neuro- and Bioinformatics
   Medical University Lübeck
   Seelandstraße 1a
   D-23569 Lübeck, Germany
   polani at
   Electronic submissions (postscript or pdf only) are strongly
   encouraged. In case of a hardcopy submission please make sure the
   submissions are received by the workshop organizers by May 19, 2000.
   In this case please submit 3 copies of your paper. Accepted
   submissions will be published in the Artificial Life VII workshop
   proceedings. There will be one or two keynote talks, after which the
   authors will have the opportunity to present their papers during the
   workshop.Following the presentations a general discussion of the
   current state of the field and future development is envisaged.
   For up-to-date information see also

   For additional information send an e-mail to the workshop chairs.
   Authors of the workshop will have the opportunity to submit an
   extended version of their paper to a special issue of the MIT press
   journal 'Artificial Life' on Sensor Evolution.

   IV. Workshop Chairs:
   Daniel Polani, Medical University Lübeck, Germany
   polani at
   Thomas Uthmann, University of Mainz, Germany
   uthmann at
   Kerstin Dautenhahn, The University of Hertfordshire, UK
   K.Dautenhahn at

   V. Important Dates

   May 19, 2000: Submission due
   May 25, 2000: Notification of acceptance
   June 5, 2000 Camera-ready paper due.


   Artificial Life VII takes place Tue, Aug 1 - Sun, Aug 6, 2000,
   Portland, Oregon, USA.
   Conference Chair: 
   Mark Bedau, Reed College
   mab at

   For more information, see

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