[cover] Susan Stepney, Fiona Polack, Peter Welch, eds.
Proceedings of the 2008 Workshop on Complex Systems Modelling and Simulation, York, UK, September 2008 .

Luniver Press 2008


We are pleased to be running the first CoSMoS workshop in association with the thirty-first Communicating Process Architectures Conference (CPA 2008), in York, UK. Complex Systems often involve a large number of agents, which can be modelled as processes, communicating and interacting, resulting in emergent properties. As such, the architectures of complex systems simulators fit well with the scope of the CPA series of conferences. The genesis of this workshop is the similarly-named CoSMoS research project, a four year EPSRC funded research project at the Universities of York and Kent. The project aims are stated as:

The project will build capacity in generic modelling tools and simulation techniques for complex systems, to support the mod- elling, analysis and prediction of complex systems, and to help design and validate complex systems. Drawing on our state-of- the-art expertise in many aspects of computer systems engineer- ing, we will develop CoSMoS, a modelling and simulation process and infrastructure specifically designed to allow complex systems to be explored, analysed, and designed within a uniform frame- work.

As part of the project, we are running annual workshops, to dissem- inate best practice in Complex Systems modelling and simulation. To allow authors the space to describe their systems in depth we put no stringent page limit on the submissions.

We did not want these workshops to be focussed on our own project; rather, we wanted to embrace the wider complex systems community, so that we could all benefit from the whole community's experiences and best practices. So we are delighted at this first workshop to have papers from a range of contributors, from a range of backgrounds including computer science, clinical medicine, immunology, and plant biology.

Ognen Paunovski, George Eleftherakis, and Tony Cowling have a detailed description of their multi-agent simulation framework to inves- tigate emergence. They include an interesting blend of formal modelling, simulation, and validation and verification steps. They apply their approach to a small case study of animal herding.

Robert Alexander, Ruth Alexander-Bown, and Tim Kelly explore some of the problems that arise when engineering safety critical complex systems, and in particular, how one might argue the validity of simulation data in a safety case analysis.

Philip Garnett, Susan Stepney, and Ottoline Leyser apply the CoSMoS project's modelling approach outside the project itself, for the pur- poses of building a detailed simulation of a complex biological system: auxin transport canalisation in plant stems. Here the focus is very much on the biological process itself, rather than on more generic systems concerns, yet generic principles can still be extracted.

Finally, some members of the CoSMoS team itself, Paul Andrews, Fiona Polack, Adam Sampson, and Jon Timmis, and their biological collaborators Lisa Scott and Mark Coles, delve into questions that arise from using the initial CoSMoS toolset and method to simulate an immunological process. In particular, how can the simulation be validated, be argued to have any relevance to reality?

It is interesting to see some common themes emerging already in this very first workshop, in particular the emphasis on validation.

Our thanks go to all the contributors for their hard work in getting these papers prepared and revised, and to our programme committee for their prompt, extensive and in-depth reviews of all the papers submitted. We hope that readers will enjoy this set of papers, and come away with insight on the state of the art, and some understanding of current progress in Complex Systems Modelling and Simulation.

  editor = "Susan Stepney and Fiona Polack and Peter Welch",
  title = "Proceedings of the 2008 Workshop on Complex Systems Modelling and Simulation,
          York, UK, September 2008",
  booktitle = "Proceedings of the 2008 Workshop on Complex Systems Modelling and Simulation,
          York, UK, September 2008",
  publisher = "Luniver Press",
  year = 2008