Special Issue on the "Evolution of Complexity"

Special Issue on the Evolution of Complexity

Artificial Life journal

Call for Papers

Guest Editors:

Carlos Gershenson
Centrum Leo Apostel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Krijgskundestraat 33. B-1160, Brussels, Belgium

Tom Lenaerts
SWITCH, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium


As a result of the quality of the Evolution of Complexity workshop at ALife X last June in Bloomington and the interest of the attendants; we announce a call for papers for a special issue on this theme for the Artificial Life journal.

The evolution of complexity is a central theme in Biology. Yet it is not without ambiguity. Complexity has been used to refer to different things. For instance, complexification has been interpreted as a process of diversification between evolving units or as a scaling process that is related to the idea of transitions between different levels of complexity. Other meanings of complexity have been introduced, both inside and outside of Biology. In most cases, though, the central concern is to understand what produces complexity.

The focus of this special issue will be on biological interpretations of complexity and on evolutionary and related dynamics as driving mechanisms for producing complexity. Questions to be addressed in the special issue include:

  • How could complexity growth be measured or operationalised in natural and artificial living systems?
  • How can existing data from nature be brought to bear on the study of this issue?
  • What are the main hypotheses about complexity growth that can actually be tested today?
  • Are the principles of natural selection as they are currently understood sufficient to explain the evolution of complexity in living systems?
  • What are the environmental and other constraints of the evolution of complexity in living systems?
  • What is the role of developmental mechanisms in the evolution of complexity in living systems?
  • What are conditions could reduce evolved complexity in living systems?
  • How factors allow the evolution of complexity in living systems to be manipulated and controlled?
  • What models are most appropriate for understanding the evolution of complexity in living systems?

Paper Submission:

Submitted articles and letters should follow the submission guidelines of the Artificial Life Journal, available at http://mitpress.mit.edu/ALIFE. Authors should also include a cover letter describing briefly the relevance of their article to the specific topic of this call.

These articles and letters should NOT be submitted to the journal editor, but should be uploaded through the special issue website (single PDF files only, include cover letter as the first page of the paper).

Papers will be judged by members of the Program Committee on their relevance to the call for papers, originality, clarity of the presentation, and overall quality.

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: December 15th, 2006
Notification of acceptance: February 1st, 2007
Camera-ready papers due: March 1st, 2007

Programme Committee:

Chris Adami
Lee Altenberg
Mark Bedau
Hugues Bersini
John Bonner
Dominique Chu
Jim Crutchfield
Bruce Edmonds
Carlos Gershenson
Mario Giacobini
Franics Heylighen
Tom Lenaerts
Juan Julián Merelo
Barry McMullin
Chrystopher Nehaniv
Charles Ofria
Jorge Pacheco
Tom Ray
Jon Rowe
Stanley Salthe
Cosma Shalizi
Richard Watson
Larry Yeager

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