CFP: Multi-Agent Based Simulation (MABS2003) @ AAMAS, Australia, July 2003

From: Bruce Edmonds (
Date: Thu 23 Jan 2003 - 16:20:26 GMT

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                             CALL FOR PAPERS
                            MABS'03 @ AAMAS'03
              The 4th Workshop on Multi-Agent Based Simulation
                  Melbourne Australia, 14th or 15th July 2003.

    Workshop Aims and Scope

    Multi-Agent Based Simulation (MABS) is a vibrant inter-disciplinary area which brings together researchers active within the agent-based social simulation community (ABSS) and the multi-agent systems community (MAS). The focus of ABSS is on simulating and synthesizing social behaviours in order to understand real social systems (human, animal and even electronic) via the development and testing of new concepts. The focus of MAS is on the solution of hard engineering problems related to the construction, deployment and efficient operation of agent based systems.

    Increasingly however - and this was evidenced at AAMAS'02 - the MAS and ABSS communities have much to learn from each other. Real human societies are generally self-organising, highly scalable, robust and open systems. The ABSS community have developed a sizable set of techniques, observations and models that give insight into sufficient mechanisms underpinning these kinds of systems. However, ABSS has not concerned itself with applying these techniques to solve engineering problems. Conversely, the MAS community is concerned with creating working agent systems that solve real problems. This focus has forced many to abandon experimentation with large scale systems (thousands of agents) composed of smart autonomous agents (i.e. complex adaptive learners) due to lack of traditional techniques (and or computational resources) for managing such complexity.

    These differences of emphasis often preclude dialogue between ABSS and MAS workers. MABS workshops have a track record of providing a major forum for such dialogue to occur. The work presented in various sections of the AAMAS'02 main conference demonstrated a keen interest in the use of learning and adaptation combined with large scale agent societies - increasingly sociological issues of cooperation, trust and power hierarchies are being broached from the engineering perspective. The ABSS community is maturing, techniques and results are increasingly being independently reproduced and verified (but still rarely applied to the production of working MAS). Also some empirical social scientists have begun to demonstrate, test and validate concepts using experimental data and ABSS - and in this context MABS offers a potential linkage (shared vocabulary and methodology) between social scientists and MAS workers - this was an issue explicitly raised during AAMAS'02 panel discussions.

    At MABS'03 we aim to aim to re-focus the MABS workshop back to its original aim by challenging the ABSS community to propose MAS applications of their work (or programmes towards such applications) and by asking the MAS community to specify open problems in MAS that they feel should be solvable given a deeper understanding of social organization and processes. We encourage therefore, MAS people to challenge ABSS people by demanding new concepts and techniques to solve real problems and those working in ABSS to offer to MAS workers techniques and methods in a form that makes sense to agent engineers. As well as original work in ABSS and MAS we particularly welcome submissions which identify open MAS problems that might be solvable by the application of ABSS techniques (and vice versa). We also welcome programmatic overviews which propose a way forward for MABS. We strongly encourage all papers to (at least briefly) discuss the relevance of their results to both the ABSS and MAS communities.

    Relevant topics could include, but are not limited to, the following:

        o Techniques to help produce scalable and robust agent
        o Managing interactions in large-scale (possibly massive) agent
        o The establishment and maintenance of functionality in open
             agent systems
        o The emergence of cooperation and coordinated action
        o Social structures and norms as tools for designing MAS
        o The application of ABSS techniques to MAS task domains
        o The application of MAS techniques to ABSS task domains
        o Methodologies and techniques that link ABSS and MAS work
        o Agent-based models of social behaviour (particularly those
             that inform MAS)
        o Formal models of social processes applicable to MAS
        o Emergence as an MAS programming paradigm (how to
             control it, when to apply it)
        o Emergent specialisation and group level adaptations
        o Comparison of different agent architectures within a
             simulated MAS task environment
        o The application of biologically inspired ideas and techniques
             to MAS
        o The effect of different kinds of cognition of the global
             outcomes in MAS/ABSS
        o The use of MAS/ABSS to understand complex dynamics
        o Visualisation and analytic tools to understand MAS outcomes
        o Philosophical critiques of MABS
        o New frameworks for the conceptualisation of MABS
        o New tools and methodologies for producing ABSS
        o Work which builds on or critiques past MABS papers

    If your topic area is not included above then advice on the relevance of a paper you plan to submit to MABS can be obtained from the Chair (email Final judgement is, of course, primarily down to those who review the paper.

    Previous MABS Workshops

    MABS'03 will be the 4th workshop of the MABS series. The first two were organized as workshops of ICMAS'98 and ICMAS'2000. The 3rd MABS workshop was a workshop of AAMAS'02.

    The first MABS workshop, held in Paris at ICMAS 1998, had as its aim "to develop stronger links between those working in the social sciences, for whom agent based simulation has the potential to be available research tool, and those involved with multi-agent simulation, for whom the social sciences can provide useful concepts and exemplars". The presented workshop papers were published by Springer-Verlag in LNAI series, volume 1534, in a volume called Multi-Agent Systems and Agent-Based Simulation.

    The second MABS workshop, held in Boston at ICMAS 2000, extended this development, and provided substantial discussions. The presentations focused on lessons of social simulation for DAI, on the supporting and reporting of social simulation modelling and on social simulation based software applications. The workshop proceedings were published by Springer-Verlag in LNAI series, volume 1979, in a volume called Multi-Agent-Based Simulation (see review).

    The third MABS workshop, held in Bologna at AAMAS 2002, continued the aim of developing and supporting links between social science and Multi-Agent Systems practitioners via the medium of multi-agent based simulation. Additionally, the workshop echoed a specific AAMAS 2002 topic: "interactions between people and agent technology". The workshop proceedings will be published by Springer-Verlag in early 2003.

    Important Dates

        o Paper submission deadline: March 21st. Papers should be e-
             mailed to by midnight (GMT) on the
             21st of March. Papers must be in either MS-WORD,
             POSTSCRIPT (using standard fonts) or PDF format. Papers
             should be in LNCS format (see
    and no more
             than 16 pages in that format. If there are any problems with
             this you must email well before the
             deadline has passed.
        o Notification of acceptance: April 30th. Authors will be
             notified of acceptance along with peer reviewer comments on
             30th of April. Acceptance may be conditional on suggested
        o Pre-proceedings deadline: May 14th. Revised versions will
             be required by midnight on 14th of May. These versions will
             be published in the workshop pre-proceedings which will be
             available to each participant at the workshop event in
        o Workshop event: 14th or 15th July 2003. The exact date will
             be finalised soon.


    After the event we will give authors the opportunity to revise their papers based on feedback gained from the workshop before publication. We aim to publish the proceedings in the Springer- Verlag LNAI series before the end of 2003.

    Organizing Committee

    David Hales (Chair), Centre for Policy Modelling,
       Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Building, Aytoun
       Street, Manchester M1 3GH, UK.
       tel. +44 (0)161 247 6074, e-mail: Juliette Rouchier, Greqam (CNRS) - Centre de la Vieille
       Charité, 2 Rue de la Charité, 13002 Marseille, France.
       tel. +33 (0)491 14 0741, e-mail: Bruce Edmonds, Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester
       Metropolitan University, Aytoun Building, Aytoun Street,
       Manchester M1 3GH, UK.
       tel. +44 (0)161 247 6074, e-mail: Emma Norling, Dept. of Computer Science & Software
       Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010,
       tel. +61 3 8344 0938, e-mail: Roberto Pedone, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and
       Technologies, Italian National Research Council, V.le Marx
       15; 00137, Rome, Italy.
       tel. +39.06.86090215, e-mail:

    Program Committee

    Robert Axtell (Brookings Institution, USA) Rafael Bordini (University of Liverpool, UK) Francois Bousquet (CIRAD/IRRI) Helder Coelho (University of Lisbon, Portugal) Rosaria Conte (IP/CNR Rome, Italy) Paul Davidsson (Blekinge Inst. of Tech., Sweden) Nuno David (ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal) Alexis Drogoul (University Paris VI, France) Nigel Gilbert (University of Surrey, UK) Nick Gotts (Macaulay Institute, Scotland, UK) Matt Hare (University of Zurich, Switzerland) Rainer Hegselmann (Uni. Bayreuth, Germany) Wander Jager (Uni. of Groningen, Netherlands) Marco Janssen (Indiana University, USA) Scott Moss (University of Manchester, UK) Mario Paolucci, (IP/CNR Rome, Italy) Keith Sawyer (Washington Uni. in St. Louis, USA) Jaime Sichman (Uni. of Sao Paulo, Brazil) Liz Sonenberg (Uni. Melbourne, Australia) Takao Terano (Uni. of Tsukuba, Japan) Klaus Troitzsch (Uni. of Koblenz, Germany) Harko Verhagen (University Stockholm, Sweden) Christophe Le page (CIRAD, France)

    Workshop Webpage

    Visit: for updates and more information.

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