[FOM] Just One Universal Algorithm *JOUAL* workshop: CFP

Hector Zenil hectorz at alumni.cmu.edu
Wed Feb 18 13:13:37 EST 2009

[apologies for multiple copies]


          C A L L   F O R   P A P E R S
       A N D   P A R T  I C I P A T I O N

      J O U A L    2 0 0 9    W O R K S H O P

      **** Just One Universal Algorithm ****

      Experiments with emergence in computational systems
      modeling spacetime and nature

      ISTI-CNR, Pisa, Italy, June 10-11, 2009




Could all the complexity we observe in the physical universe emerge by  
just iterating a few simple transition rules, and be virtually  
reproducible by running a few lines of code?
Could spacetime originate from an information processing mechanism  
analogous to that of Wolfram's Elementary Cellular Automata or  
Conway's Game of Life? Could it be a Turing machine, or a graph- 
rewriting system? Or would the choice among alternative models of  
computation be immaterial, each yielding the same physics and universe?
Could this fundamental universal algorithm (if any) be discovered just  
by computer experiments, and by exhaustively mining portions of the  
computational universe?
In the last few decades, several scientists (K. Zuse, J. A. Wheeler,  
R. Feynman, E. Fredkin, S. Wolfram, G. 't Hooft, S. Lloyd, J.  
Schmidhuber, M. Tegmark, to mention a few) have contributed, in a  
variety of ways and degrees, to creating a positive attitude about the  
‘computational universe picture’, in an effort, sometimes called  
‘digital physics’, whose interplay with other approaches in  
theoretical physics -- most notably in Quantum Gravity -- should still  
be thoroughly investigated.

Workshop objectives

The central questions posed by a computation-oriented view at the  
physical universe can be, and have been addressed by a variety of  
approaches in several disciplines, from mathematics to philosophy.  
However, the first edition of the JOUAL Workshop is strictly  
characterized by three attributes: experimental, emergent, simple  
(…‘but no simpler’). The purpose is to collect computer experiments  
that attempt to model physical/natural phenomena of any kind, from  
gravity to quantum fluctuations of empty space, from elementary  
particles to processes in the biosphere, by the emergent features of  
very simple computational rules. This includes, for example,  
evolutionary algorithms, but excludes ad-hoc programs that encode  
explicit information from the target domain.
If the ultimate rules of nature are simple, hopefully their  
illustration can be made simple too: an effort is required from  
workshop contributors to keep their presentations at a level that  
could be accessed by researchers from multiple disciplines, and  
possibly by the interested layman.

Important dates

Paper submission: March 31, 2009 (16 pages, PDF)
Paper acceptance: May 10, 2009
Final paper due: June 1, 2009


Please send your PDF file to both email adresses below:
t.bolognesi at isti.cnr.it
hector.zenil-chavez at malix.univ-paris1.fr


Submitted papers shall be selected for presentation and publication in  
the Workshop Proceedings based on adherence to the Workshop theme and  
on the key attributes mentioned above. Accepted papers will be  
considered for publication in special issues of the journal Complex  
Systems and/or Journal of Unconventional Computing.
Conditional to the quality of the contributions and available support,  
an effort is planned for the divulgation of the Workshop results, e.g.  
via Web publication, for stimulating interest and curiosity, in the  
scientific community and in the general public, about the idea of  
searching for the (ultimate?) laws of nature by mining the  
computational universe.

Program Committee

Andy Adamatzky
      Univ. West England, Bristol, UK

Vieri Benci
      Univ. Pisa, Italy

Tommaso Bolognesi (coord.)
      CNR/ISTI, Pisa, Italy

Cristian S. Calude
      Univ. Auckland, NZ

Leone Fronzoni
      Univ. Pisa, Italy

Fotini Markopoulou
      Perimeter Institute, Waterloo, Canada

Annalisa Marzuoli
      Univ. Pavia, Italy

Emmanuel Sapin
      Univ. West England, Bristol, UK

Jürgen Schmidhuber
      IDSIA, Manno-Lugano, Switzerland

Klaus Sutner
      Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Matthew Szudzik
      Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Hector Zenil
      Univ. Paris 1, France

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