Toward a Practice of Autonomous Systems

From Complex Adaptive Systems

Toward a Practice of Autonomous Systems

Proceedings of the First European Conference on Artificial Life

Edited by Francisco J. Varela and Paul Bourgine

A Bradford Book




Artificial life embodies a recent and important conceptual step in modem science: asserting that the core of intelligence and cognitive abilities is the same as the capacity for living. The recent surge of interest in artificial life has pushed a whole range of engineering traditions, such as control theory and robotics, beyond classical notions of goal and planning into biologically inspired notions of viability and adaptation, situatedness and operational closure. These proceedings serve two important functions: they address bottom-up theories of artificial intelligence and explore what can be learned from simple models such as insects about the cognitive processes and characteristic autonomy of living organisms, while also engaging researchers and philosophers in an exciting examination of the epistemological basis of this new trend.

TopicsArtificial Animals • Genetic Algorithms • Autonomous Systems • Emergent Behaviors • Artificial Ecologies • Immunologic Algorithms • Self-Adapting Systems • Emergent Structures • Emotion And Motivation • Neural Networks • Coevolution • Fitness Landscapes

ContributorsH. Bersini, Domenico Parisi, Rodney A. Brooks, Christopher G. Langton, S. Kauffman, J.-L. Denenbourg, Pattie Maes, John Holland, T. Smithersm H. Swefel, H. Muhlenbein


$80.00 X ISBN: 9780262720199 534 pp. | 8.4 in x 10.6 in


Francisco J. Varela

Francisco J. Varela (1946–2001) was Director of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, Professor of Cognitive Science and Epistemology, CREA, at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, and Cofounder of the Mind and Life Institute.

Paul Bourgine

Paul Bourgine is the honorary director of RNSC, the French National Network of Complex Systems, former director of the CREA laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique, and founder of the Complex Systems Institute, Paris. He is also a co-founder of the CECOIA conferences in economics and artificial intelligence (1986), the ECAL conferences in artificial life (1990), the ECCE conferences in cognitive economics (2004) and the ECCS conferences in complex systems science (2005).