Computational philosophies: lessons from simple models

Aud. A (Center for Models of Life, Niels Bohr Institute)

Aud. A

Center for Models of Life, Niels Bohr Institute

Blegdamsvej 17 2100 Copenhagen Ø
Dante Chialvo (Northwestern Univ. Med. School, Chicago, Illinois), Kim Sneppen (Center for Models of Life, Niels Bohr Institute), Maya Paczuski (University of Calgary)
This meeting celebrates the 20 year anniversary of self-organized criticality and the approach to science personified by one of its inventors – the late Per Bak. Recent advances in information and measurement technologies have swamped contemporary research with facts and uncertainties. Scientists in fields as diverse as physics, economics, sociology, molecular biology, medicine and ecology confront data – sometimes vast amounts collected without much insight – and often from the principle that more is better. Obviously surpluses of data may tempt engineering-like approaches to describe life, the universe and everything in it – as collections of myriad minutae. However when the number of variable model parameters vastly exceeds one, potential insights gained by models often drown in details. This workshop instead explores attempts to build conceptual models, aimed at capturing relevant collective phenomena in living and other systems. These models do not attempt many detailed predictions, but rather pose fundamental questions related to cooperativity, self-organization, communication, regulation and functionality of living and other complex systems. Questions like how do things come about without too much effort, how do complicated systems keep any coherent organization, and what is the role of information in function and structure of sustainable systems? For further information see the Conference Home Page.
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